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Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11

Durham Chronicle Volume XLIV, Issue 11

12 The

12 The Chronicle April 10 - 16, 2018 Community Tale of a human trafficking survivor This is part four in a four-part series on human trafficking. Shana Fillatrau and Shanelle Somers The Chronicle “I got out of the car and one of the pimps hit me, drugged me, they bring me upstairs, I wake up, two guys are raping me, and then they made me shower.” This is what happened to Markie Dell after innocently agreeing to attend her co-worker’s birthday party. Dell was 19-years-old working as a waitress in Hamilton, Ont. She was shy and didn’t know her co-worker well but she still accepted the invitation to go. What she didn’t know was her co-worker was a victim of human trafficking trying to appease her pimp by recruiting a new girl. Dell was picked up from her house and taken to a party. She says she was uncomfortable the whole night. She didn’t know this at the time but the co-worker’s pimps were there and their plan was to recruit her. Dell stayed at the co-worker’s house for the night. The next day, things were a lot different. Her co-worker demanded Dell give her $600, for the rental car, the drinks and staying at her house. When Dell said she didn’t have the money, the co-worker dropped her off at a strip club and told her to make the money. She was threatened and told, “You don’t even want to know what will happen if you don’t do this.” Dell was forced to dance on stage in front of people she knew, ruining her reputation Once Dell had made enough money, they drove back to the co-worker’s house where one of the co-worker’s pimps hit her, drugged her and dragged her upstairs. When she woke up, two men were raping her. “It was basically day after day, it would be like that. They would threaten me and my family. They took my phone, my I.D.s, so I had no access. They just cut everyone off from me,” Dell said. Dell was expected to run errands for her pimps, like grocery shopping, but they would time her. She also had to work at the club, but if she didn’t make enough money dancing, then she would have to make up for the loss. The only people Dell had the opportunity to talk to were her clients. The clients would offer her a place to live, though she knew she wouldn’t be safe with them. So she continued to live with her former co-worker. During that time, the pimps and her co-worker were planning to make a big move. She said, “I was going to [move] to Hawaii, get branded, sign a condo lease. I was like ‘I gotta go get out of here’ because I would have been way more stuck.” One of Dell’s clients offered to pay for a motel room, so she didn’t have to stay with him. She could live alone and have time to sort Markie Dell, from Hamilton, Ont., survived spending about a year isolated within the human trafficking world. things out . She said she left the club with nothing, just the bikini and heels she was wearing. The client brought her food every day and made her service him in exchange. This arrangement lasted approximately a month. From her motel, she phoned a man she dated in the past. He said she could come stay with him but he didn’t have a lot of money to take care of her. She said this was fine, just as long as she could get away from the client. After two weeks of living there, he said she owed him money and needed to pay his mortgage. He was addicted to Oxycontin and she needed to help pay for his drug habit. Dell says he knew the owner of Hamilton Strip, and he said she needed to go work there. She said she’d do anything but strip but he told her that she couldn’t do anything else. Dell says, “I was there for a while, and then the owner actually called the cops and that’s how it all ended.” She worked at the strip club for two or three months. After she left the strip club, Dell tried to seek sanctuary in a safe house. But this house wasn’t safe at all. Dell says the women running the safe house made Dell perform sexual acts for her friends and some of the volunteers, “So it was f**ked up.” The women is still a huge name in human trafficking prevention in Canada. Dell was asked by her to do a fundraiser. She was promised that her college would be paid for or she would receive a car. She says she did the fundraiser, raised a lot of money and never heard from her again. I got out the car and one of the pimps hit me. “She just took the $10,000 and left. So that’s my experience in a safe house,” she said. Dell said despite the woman’s misdeeds, another woman who worked there became her mentor. She has helped Dell for the past seven years. “She’s helped me through everything. 24/7, I can call her anytime.” As far as counsellors or any kind of social worker, Dell says they’re “not okay.” She said the counsellors are too judgmental and don’t know how to deal with the “taboo” subject. Dell said a counsellor gave her a colouring book and another one just told her to stop feeling negative. In terms of prevention techniques, Dell was excited to hear about the organizations working with young women and their self-esteem in the Durham Region. “That’s huge. That’s so big,” she said. In terms of her six months in human trafficking, Dell said it all became a routine for her, almost normal. “You change as a person. I was a happy person, ditzy and stuff like how I am now, but you become hardened,” she said. She said everyone involved hardens. “The girls at the club are like the same way, they’re hardened, they’re b**ches, they’re threatening to kill you, they’ll fight in the locker room. I basically did drugs all the time. My customers would give me drugs and I would be wasted all day, all the time.” People wonder why she couldn’t just leave. She said the pimps would leave the door unlocked, but she had to worry about what would happen if she did try and escape. They knew where she lived and they threatened to kill her dog. “They had a can of gasoline in the motel so they threatened to light me on fire if I left. So, it’s like the door’s unlocked but I’m not moving anywhere any time Photograph courtesy of Markie Dell soon,” she said. After Dell got out, she still had x=clients and worked on her own or with another girl. It took three to seven years to get back to a “normal” life. Dell says she had a lot of “mental chains” she had to break through. Now, Dell is selling cars in Hamilton and says she’s only just started feeling better. “A lot of people who have gone through it haven't done much healing, this is like seven years ago, and I just feel normal now. The past few months I feel sane,” she said She has had a boyfriend for the past year and a half. For the first year, she had major trust issues. Now she says, “I trust him and see things for what it is. I know that not all men are the same.” For Dell going forward, there are many things she would like people to know. She would like people to “educate boys, not just girls, on the repercussions and evil of what pimping really is.” She also wants better training in hospitals and clinics. “I feel like people should know to treat women the same because my experience in hospitals, I was labelled a prostitute. Like, I didn’t have a name, I was a prostitute. Do you know how degrading that is?” Finally, she says, trust your gut feeling. “Because that could prevent a lot.”

Campus April 10 - 16, 2018 The Chronicle 13 DC painting features the King of Pop Claudia Latino The Chronicle “I never really tried being in an art class even though I was constantly drawing things. I decided to enroll in an art class in Grade 9. I then realized my art work was coming out good and I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe I could create more’, and that’s exactly what I did,” said Jahdira Subner, a firstyear Fine Arts Advanced Durham College student. Subner, 19, is an artist who never thought she could be. Subner graduated from David Suzuki Secondary School in 2016 and enrolled in Durham College in September. She wanted enhance her skill to sketch off of real life images and objects. Subner would sit in her room, and watch one of her favourite music artists on YouTube perform during his Bad Tour: Michael Jackson. “I started liking Michael from my parents. On Sundays it’s cleaning day at my house. My parents would play all the throwbacks of their time,” said Subner. “We would clean all day and my dad loves to dance so I would dance with him.” Her boyfriend showed her an episode on Oprah called, ‘Michael Jackson talks to Oprah’ back in 1993. He also showed her the memorial video of Jackson when he died. Subner was instantly inspired to paint the world’s greatest entertainer of all time. At the beginning of the winter semester, Subner was assigned a project called, ‘The Big Painting’. It was worth 20 per cent of her final mark. She was free to paint anything she wanted to design on a larger canvas. Her idea of painting the ‘King of Pop’ came to her while her mind was being filled with different ideas such as anime, an indigenous woman, and more anime. She wanted to paint Jackson during his Bad Tour. “I loved Michael’s costume. I loved the way he looked. I just knew I couldn’t paint him in another costume. I love that tour. And oh my gosh, he looked so cute too,” she said. Two weeks later, Subner noticed her canvas was still blank. No sketch, no colour, nothing. She started to panic. Subner rolled up her sleeves and got to work. “Depending on the size, usually a smaller piece would take me a day if I took minimal breaks. A big painting usually takes me Photograph by Claudia Latino Jahdira Subner, a DC first year fine arts advanced student with her Michael Jackson painting. about a week,” she said. “I had to finish this assignment. I was sweating, I was so scared. I felt like I wasn’t going to finish it in time.” She first used pencil to sketch the proportions of Jackson’s pose. “If I made a mistake on his proportions of how he was posing, the painting would’ve looked horrible. It’s one of the most important steps when creating a portrait,” she said. Jackson’s outline was finally complete. She then thinned out acrylic paint supplied from the college with acrylic retarder and lots of water. She then started to slowly fill in Jackson’s facial features with a fine tip brush. Nearly three hours in, his silver and black costume with the chains around his legs and the black buckles up his arms were complete. Just under five hours, the painting was done. Laurie Lafrance, Subner’s professor, was amazed by the final product. Jackson’s eyes, nose, and smile were almost exact. Lafrance was proud of her student. “She has strong drawing skills, but most importantly, she is able to work within the structures of a project to develop and communicate her concept with finesse,” wrote Lafrance. Subner holds a special place for Jackson in her heart. She wanted to replicate the inspiration behind the painting on the canvas itself. “After seeing the documentaries, I remember the day he passed away. On the news, I remember his fans were standing behind the hospital where he was dying,” said Subner. “After seeing that clip again, it really touched me, and I miss Michael Jackson so much. I think he is a part of everyone’s lives.” The magic of doodling Many people might associate doodling with wandering minds during boring classes or inattentive, lazy students but no more! I, your friendly Chronicle columnist, will walk you through the wonders and the joys of doodling in academic environments. Let’s us first establish that I am an avid doodler. From sprawling Zen doodles, to rounded head (often sassy) people commenting on my current work, I have survived my academic career thus far by adopting a practice of doodling. The benefits Cassidy McMullen If your teachers were stick-inthe-mud enthusiasts, you might have been told to pay attention or had your doodling supplies taken away for what teachers viewed as not paying attention in class. Have no fear! I now have the proof to show how doodling improves people’s ability to remember facts. A study from 2009 found when participates were asked to listen to a two-and-a-half minute voice mail, participates that were doodling remembered 29 per cent more information than those who did not. Some psychologists believe that doodling, which is a form of fidgeting, activates our fight-orflight system to rally our attention and to stay alert according to Harvard health contributor Srini Pillay, MD. Pillay also says that continuous attention places a strain on your brain. Doodling can be the break your brain needs to pay attention and help you from losing total interest. So, when you find your attention wandering or you’re sitting through a particularly boring lecture, breaking out the pens! Doodle along the margins or the top of your notes to help pay attention. (Take that stick-in-the-mud enthusiasts!) Pro tip: If you try and doodle things that relate to the content of your class, it will help you remember and also keeps your doodles fresh. The wonders What wonders could doodling hold? Well I, your friendly chronicle columnist, am here to tell you about the stress relief that doodling could bring to you. It has been confirmed, spontaneous doodling could relieve psychological distress. Research suggests that doodling can help people piece together memories and stories that help us make sense of our lives and emotions. Developing a greater sense of self and understanding, can lead the doodler to being more relaxed. Doodling can also help you be more creative. Not just ‘arts-and-crafts’ types of creative either (not that arts and crafts aren’t awesome, pipe cleaners forever!) Taking the time to doodle while brainstorming can spark ideas that you might not have come up with otherwise. Famous doodlers who used this method include, but are not limited to John Lennon, super mathematical mathematicians Pierre de Fermat and Stanlislaw Ulam (he escaped the holocaust and helped build the first atomic bomb) and Theodore Roosevelt (the 26 the president of the United States). Leonardo Da Vinci, who was not only a famous painter but an An example of Zen doodling. inventor, also used this method. He doodled in his sketchbooks designs that would later inspire the helicopter and hydraulic pumps. He also wrote backwards which was so like him to do (show off). So, if you’re plotting new inventions, or thinking of supporting arguments for an essay, give doodling a go and see what you can come up with. Pro tip: Use pens, not pencils. Pencils smudge over time which will suck if you particularly liked the doodle or if you want to be able to refer back to it. The Magic Now, after reading about the benefits and the wonders of doodling, you must be asking: “Friendly Chronicle columnist! This is amazing! How do I get started?” Illustrated by Cassidy McMullen The often difficult part of doodling is getting started. Doodle whatever. Not all doodles have to be masterpieces. People develop their own styles of doodling through practice. Some people might enjoy doodling eyes and another person might find joy in drawing little pizzerias. As you doodle, you’ll find your own style. Just doodle. But if you’re really stuck, try drawing boxes and filling them in with patterns or drawing cubes and pyramids. Now go! Be free readers and adopt the magic of doodling to improve your own academic career! Pro tip: Seriously, just start doodling. It’s awesome.

Durham Chronicle 17-18 Issue 12
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