This mural was completed by Joel Artista alongside students from the University of Dayton's Art Street Centre for the Sex Trafficking Awareness Project. This campagin aims to raise awareness of forced prostitution and the sexual exploitation of women and girls in the USA.
Through workshops with Artista, students expressions of sex trafficking were combined with an image of the Riman goddess Proserpina. In the mural, she struggles to break free from her captor, the god of the underworld, and her mother, whose hand reaches out for her. This imagery highlights the violent and painful kidnapping and forced prostitution of thousands of girls and women, both American and foreign, across the US every year. Proserpina's struggle is also shown with writing all over the piece in different languages, with phrases such as 'desperation', 'escape', and 'wasted youth'.
Joel Artista (Joel Bergner) has completed several murals against human trafficking and modern slavery. He is an artist, educator and activist who is celebrated for his antislavery artwork and murals. Artista's art is heavily influenced by his work with communities and non-profit organisations, and in 2015 he joined forces with Max Frieder to form Artolution. This community-based arts initiative empowers artists, youth and communities to be agents of positive social change and explore critical societal issues and create opportunities for constructive dialogue.