Art As

Activism

3 million girls are sold and trafficked every year

That means losing her identity, her family and any remnants of a happy childhood. MISSING uses the power of art to raise awareness about human trafficking. Working locally and globally, the campaign is transforming public perceptions, educating individuals, communities and policy makers, and inspiring action to put an end to modern day slavery.

MISSING is a four part public awareness campaign comprising of Public installations, An award winning mobile game, #MISSINGIRLS stencil campaign and the MISSING collective

Installation

Stencil

Game

Collective

Read her story

A survivor story from the MISSING project
People questioned where she had gone and how she had disappeared, but no one had any answers. In rural India where societies can still be very conservative, topics like child trafficking are often ignored. 

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A survivor story from the MISSING project
He showered her with fancy promises of commitment, and they got married. He planned on taking her for their honeymoon to New Delhi. Little did she know, that he was going to sell her into the trade of sex trafficking in G.B. Road – one of the most bustling red-light districts within India’s capital. 

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A survivor story from the MISSING project
She was an innocent fourteen year old, and this was very traumatizing for her, so that very day, she escaped. She gathered some courage and climbed out of the window, running for her life. 

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Micheala a survivor story from the MISSING project
he had coerced her to take up a job at a massage parlour, and within a few days, she discovered that it was a front, for a mob­-run prostitution ring. But it was too late by then..

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Karishma a survivor story from the MISSING project
On the 7th of January, 2014, Karishma had managed to make a phone call to her home district. She had been missing for over 120 days, but there was still a ray of warm hope that existed within her.

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A survivor story from the MISSING project
After an entire year, she managed to plan her escape. Luckily, she had a customer who fancied her and wanted to marry her. 

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Art is Activism

“During my career as a photographer, I was hit by a very important issue – sex trafficking. Today, there are 3 million prostituted women in India, out of which 1.2 million are young girls. The average age of recruitment of girls into prostitution is between 9 and 12 years of age. These are disturbing statistics. When I first started working with NGOs like Apne Aap, Hamari Muskan and New Light as an artist, I dealt with the issue by creating complicated installations within gallery spaces that brought up the dark realities of sex trafficking in a very graphic way. But this did not seem right. To create mass awareness, I realised I needed to distill the issue into a simple, engaging piece of art that spoke to everyone and transcended language and space. That is when my public art project MISSING emerged. MISSING was finally launched to great reviews at the India Art Fair in January 2014.”

Leena Kejriwal, Artist and Founder of #MISSING

Artist’s Statement

The work is larger than life black silhouettes of young girls placed against the urban skyline. Constructed from iron sheets, forged and painted pitch black, they seem like sharp, black cut out of the sky. Holes, into which, millions of girls disappear from the face of the earth. These expanded forms act as memorials to these young girls who have disappeared, vanished into thin air. It is hoped that these emblematic silhouettes generate curiosity, recognition and finally a sense of deep loss, recovering them to from the abyss of the sky. A recovery that inspires millions of others to act on behalf of the fate of those who have disappeared and are alluded by justice.

The symbols of missing; larger-than-life black silhouettes of young girls against urban backdrops, which look like sharp, black cut outs of the sky – holes into which millions of girls disappear from the face of the earth into the dark world of prostitution.