'What You See Is Not Who I Am' is a portable mural series that was created in 2014 by ArtWorks for Freedom in collaboration with Groundwell's Teen Empowerment Mural Apprentice Program. Lead artist Nicole Schulman and assistant artist Edwin Vazquez worked with 20 young students to research, design and create a 12-panel mural series on modern slavery. The 4ft by 4ft panels are suitable for indoor and outdoor display and have been installed at various locations, including Emory University, George Washington University and George State University. The students learnt about the global epidemic of human trafficking and hoped their work would raise awareness of this phenomenon. The young artist believed this series would inspire others to get involved in the fight against human trafficking and encourage people to report possible incidents of modern slavery. Several of the murals contain the National Human Trafficking Helpline and the final panel tells the public 'Don't close your eyes. Don't walk away'. It asks the public to call the helpline if they witness workers in certain conditions or situations – for example, if workers who live in poor conditions, seem afraid, never speak with you alone and provide scripted answers, bear signs of abuse, and are unpaid or paid very little. The seventh mural in the series appears above – here we have an abstract image of a pair of eyes in front of a factory. The phrase in the centre is covering what appear to be drops of blood and the tired, drawn eyes look to the viewer. The fact that we can only see the person’s eyes, and not the rest of their face, stresses the fact that survivors are often hidden by their enslavement. When reflecting on the project, Raymond Reyes commented that ‘we tried to work using symbols that weren’t too clichéd’ and Maybelline Amaya said that ‘creating this mural was one of the enlightening moments of my life’. Dakota Storm Austin stated that she learned that ‘there is a struggle in each and every corner of this earth’ and Tobi Oniyindi remarked that everyone took this sensitive topic very seriously. The students who were involved are Daijean Aiken, Maybelline Amaya, Dakota Austin, Gustavo Bahena, Kaya Chou-Kudu, Treyshuon Dennis, Marcos Diaz, Juana Euceda, Kaianna Griffith, Nathaniel James, Rosaura Munoz, Stephanie Nan, Tobi Oniyinde, Kyziom Phuntsok, Raymond Reyes, Dustin Chang, Ify Chiejina and Clement Romans.
This graffiti of a child wearing a Walmart uniform was created amid claims that the company was selling timber products with wood supplied through slave labour. A three-month investigation by news outlet Reporter Brasil found that Walmart and Lowe were sourcing the product from companies whose supply chains are contaminated by the alleged use of forced labour. For a full report of the investigation, click here.The piece was placed onto a vacant Walmart store and quickly covered up by city officials.
This mural was created by Benjamin Swatez as part of the Wall of Hope Campaign. The project was started by the Human Rights Film Focus in Nepal in 2013 and coincided with the United Nations' annual 16 Days to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign calls young people to action to end violence against women and girls through education and artistic expression. Swatez works with the campaign to create murals to raise awareness of this issue. He was created murals in 17 countries, alongside holding art therapy workshops. Swatez's main focus is on the plight of refugees, the socio-economically marginalised and the vulnerable. This mural was created on the wall of the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu. It highlights child slavery and the forced sexual exploitation of women and girls.At 252 feet long, this mural is the longest in Nepal and is part of a larger anti-sex trafficking campaign. Alongside Nepali painters and international artists, Swatez directed the project and created an array of portraits of women in between flora and fauna.
This mural was created by Benjamin Swatez as part of the Wall of Hope Campaign. The project was started by the Human Rights Film Focus in Nepal in 2013 and coincided with the United Nations' annual 16 Days to Stop Violence Against Women. The campaign calls young people to action to end violence against women and girls through education and artistic expression. Swatez works with the campaign to create murals to raise awareness of this issue. He was created murals in 17 countries, alongside holding art therapy workshops. Swatez's main focus is on the plight of refugees, the socio-economically marginalised and the vulnerable. This mural was created on the wall of the Australian Embassy in Kathmandu. It highlights child slavery and the forced sexual exploitation of women and girls.In the centre of this mural are two eyes that are embedded into the brickwork of the wall. The mural progresses from right to left, with a girl lying on the floor in chains, covered in a red piece of material and reaching out her hand appealing to the public for their help. The chain has been broken by an eagle and as a result the wall is beginning to falter. Behind the left eye, we can see a beautiful landscape, symbolising a life away from slavery. On the far left there is a girl with a cheetah, looking defiantly towards a life that is free from slavery and sex trafficking.
In commemoration of Mambajao’s 160th founding anniversary on 6th July 2015, the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE 10) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) hosted a mural painting competition. The aim was to raise awareness of child slavery and modern slavery in an area that was frequented by tourists and locals. This was an important moment for the island, which was been declared a “Child Labor-Free Province” in 2012.Around 20 children from four different schools came together to paint this mural and were inspired by the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) "YES to education. NO to child labour" policy, as ensuring children are enrolled in schools is an important effort in the prevention of child slavery and child labour. The winners of the competition were Tupsan National High School (4th Place), Fatima College of Camiguin (3rd Place), Mambajao National High School (2nd Place) and Yumbing National High School (1st Place). Unfortunately, as of 2017, the mural had been destroyed.
The Boston Community Leadership Academy (BCLA) aims to develop the capacity for leadership in all students, empowering them to make positive contributions to communities. Students worked with teachers, UNICEF representatives, Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE) and local mural artists to design and create a mural in the school that focused on child slavery. The students placed emphasis on the idea that while all children should have the right to play, not all get that right. Children's toys are mixed together with work tools that symbolise the industries children are often forced to work in, such as a sewing machine, a factory and a hammer.
In 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) visited different areas of Colombia to educate children and young adults on how to recognise, report and prevent human trafficking. As part of this program, children from various schools and communities created murals to show their understanding of human trafficking and their support of modern slavery survivors. Of the 1,900 children with whom UNODC worked, the majority lived in areas where levels of prostitution and drug crimes are very high. This mural is one of two created in Medellin, which is the second largest city in Colombia and the capital of the region of Antioquia. It shows white silhouettes of people with barcodes across their bodies. The red banner reads on sale/for sale in Spanish, Italian, German and English: 'en venta...in vendita...zu verkaufen...for sale...en venta'. These phrases are repeated on the left-hand side around the woman who faces away from the viewer, with her hands clasped around her knees.
In 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) visited different areas of Colombia to educate children and young adults on how to recognise, report and prevent human trafficking. As part of this program, children from various schools and communities created murals to show their understanding of human trafficking and their support of modern slavery survivors. Of the 1,900 children with whom UNODC worked, the majority lived in areas where levels of prostitution and drug crimes are very high. This mural was created in Bogota, the capital and largest city of Colombia. The piece reads 'solo tu le pones valor a tu vida', which translates to 'only you can put value on your life', with the hands below breaking the chains of slavery.
This mural protests against early and forced marriage of children. It shows a girl with a covered head looking off into the distance looking somewhat daunted by what lies ahead. The fire at the base of the mural shows this is a dangerous situation for her to be in. The exact location and the date for the mural are unknown.
This mural in Buenos Aires was part of a series organised by Red Mundial Juvenil Argentina, Vínculos en Red and Art Emprende. Painted in a small square Plaza la Victoria, the murals depict different kinds of violence, abuse and exploitation that children and teenagers suffer. On 19th September 2015 an event was held to unveil the murals, with artistic and recreational workshops about child abuse and the maltreatment of children.This piece was completed by antislavery activist Alicia Peressutti, who has written several novels based on the accounts of those who have survived trafficking, prostitution and abuse. She fights to make the stories of these survivors heard and believes this is vital for the eradication of modern slavery.
This Bansky piece was placed on the side of a Poundland store in Wood Green, London in May 2012. It was created by the infamous artist in protest against the use of sweatshops to create Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics memorabilia in 2012. It features a child crouching on the ground, sewing together bunting with the Union Jack. It has become an iconic image of child labour and child slavery.The mural remained on the wall until February 2013, when it was removed and put up for sale at the Fine Art Auctions in Miami. However, after appeals from residents of Wood Green, the mural was withdrawn the Miami auction and returned to the UK. It was subsequently sold at auction in Convent Garden, London for $1.2million. After the mural was removed, a stencil of Banksy's supposed signature rat holding a sign asking 'why?' was placed on the wall, which was then quickly removed. A Banksy representative stated that this was a fake.
This mural is one of two created by artist ArtLords with the help of the Canadian Embassy in Afghanistan. ArtLords frequently creates pieces that make political statements, including asking people to pick up a book not a gun and encouraging a transparent and accountable government. These murals highlight the importance of education for young girls and women, and condemn the practice of forced marriage. In September 2017, forced marriage was recognised as a form of modern slavery and was included in the estimates of people who are enslaved by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). At this time, there were an estimated 15.4 million people in forced marriage, and the vast majority of these are girls and women. Over a third of the people who were forced to marry were children, of whom 40% were below fifteen at the time when marriage took place.
This mural was created in Sierra Leone by WHI (World Hope International) with FAAST (Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking). It highlights different types of slavery, including forced sexual exploitation and forced labour. The piece raises awareness of the vulnerability of migrant workers and stresses that people must be careful about accepting jobs that might sound "too good to be true".World Hope International is an organisation that works with vulnerable and exploited communities around the world. It aims to alleviate poverty, suffering and injustice, and this mural was created as part of their anti-trafficking work in Sierra Leone.WHI is a member of FAAST, an alliance of Christian organisations that are working together to combat slavery and human trafficking. Other members include Compassion First, who work with survivors, and the Salvation Army. WHI was the lead in FAAST in Sierra Leone and have helped raise awareness of modern slavery in the country.
This mural was completed in conjunction with the 6th Annual Welling Court Mural Project to raise awareness of child slavery. It is located on 12th Street between Welling Court and 30th Road in Astoria, Queens, NYC. It tells the story of a 7-year old girl who is enslaved and works in a granite quarry near Katmandu, Nepal. Indira and the other children working at the quarry are forced to perform dangerous jobs with little or no safety gear. If they refuse, their employer withholds food from their family.The text that accompanies the mural on the artists website is as follows: Indira works in a granite quarry near Katmandu. She is 7 years old. The granite is sent to Britain to provide stone tiles for patios. Children are paid the equivalent of 25 cents a day to perform tiring and dangerous work with little or no safety gear.. Approximately 32,000 children in Nepal work in stone quarries. Some are as young as 5 years old. Many work besides their parents who are in debt bondage with little hope of escaping. Some live at the work site which is watched by guards who forbid them from leaving. The children are forced to perform hazardous jobs & if they refuse the employer withholds food from the family. Eradicating child labor from Nepal is difficult because it is fundamental to the economy.
This mural in the Northern Samar region of the Philippines depicts different types of modern slavery, including child trafficking and forced sexual exploitation. Unfortunately very little is known about this mural, including the date it was created or the artist. The central figure is depicted as an evil human trafficker who does whatever he can to keep himself happy. At the side we see the sad faces of several children and one child buries their head in their hands.
The project Luchando Hasta Encontrarlas (Fighting Until We Find Them) was started by a group of mothers of girls from Juarez, Mexico who went missing and are presumed dead. The girls' family members and the police believe that these women were kidnapped and trafficked as prostitutes before being murdered. Since 1993 more than 430 women have disappeared and been murdered in the area. The project raises awareness by creating murals in the region, with public buildings, churches and businesses donating their walls for artists to create these pieces. Their aim is to create 200 murals across Ciudad Juarez to raise awareness of what is happening to young girls and women in this region and demand justice for those who have lost their lives. The local authorities told families that they were putting a stop to the search for their daughters, claiming that they were giving the city a 'bad name'. However these families are determined to campaign for justice. The above murals were created by Maclovio Macias and the artist also took part in a 200 mile march with many mothers who have lost their daughters. In the first piece, the quote reads 'No me Hallo. Estoy Desaparecida', which translates to 'I do not find me, I'm missing'. The rest of the mural contains images of mothers holding posters of their missing daughters, and these depict real families and real missing women. For example, the final image shows Esmeralda Castillo, who disappeared on 19th May 2009.
This piece was part of a series of murals created by Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant) under the installation project of the Irvine Contemporary Art Gallery, with other artists including EVOL and PISA73 from Berlin, Gaia and Oliver Vernon from Brooklyn.It shows a Cambodian child holding a machine gun over his shoulder, with a flower in his hair highlighting his youth and innocence. The artist created another piece that protested against child soldiers called 'Duality of Humanity' at 4 Pike Street, Cincinnati. This mural was soon destroyed by the building's owner and the above mural no longer exists either.
This mural of a child soldier was created by Shepard Fairey (Obey Giant), the artist who is famous for creating the iconic Obama HOPE poster. The image draws parallels between the complex emotions around the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq. While it does not focus on modern slavery, it includes an element of modern slavery in the form of a child soldier.There was a great amount of controversy surrounding this mural. Michael Claypool, the building's owner, did not review the piece before it was placed onto his wall and he was shocked when it was unveiled. Claypool commented that he felt it was offensive and he hired painters to cover the mural in white paint. Many felt the mural was inappropriate considering it was opposite the John G. Carlisle Elementary School.Shepard Fairey admitted that he did not know that the mural was opposite a school and stated that had he known of the school's presence, he would have altered the piece. However the artist defended his work and commented that he felt it did not encourage violence, but rather did the opposite. The artist created another mural against child soldiers in 2011 as part of the Irvine Contemporary Art Gallery project in Washington D.C.
In 2017 the Dadaab Refugee Settlement provided various canvases and walls for artists who were refugees in the settlement to express themselves. At the time, Dadaab housed around 250,000 people and included people who were affected by the 2011 famine in Somalia. The large scale murals are the work of refugee artists who were supported by FilmAid's team of art trainers. FilmAid International conducted a two week, intensive training program with nine young artists from the Settlements. Through these workshops, participants developed their technical skills and their ability to incorporate stories, emotions and messages into their art. The project's goal was to contextualise and raise awareness of female genital mutilation (FGM) and early/forced marriage, as well as calling communities to become active in its eradication.
This mural was created by students in their Transition Year at Presentation College in Bray and condemns the use of child soldiers. The piece is quite graphic, with the centre featuring an image of a dead child lying on the ground with a large wound on his chest. The words 'our greed', 'brainwashed', 'disposable', 'accountable', 'scars' and 'lonely' cover the mural, and there are reminders of the deadly situation these children are in with the presence of skulls and bones. The students also created 'Child Slavery Mural', which raises awareness of the exploitation of children.