This European multi-city art and awareness raising project, conceived by Dutch artist Marian van der Zwaan, was designed to highlight the plight of victims of sex trafficking across Europe. ‘A Penny for Your Thoughts’ was a creative initiative that invited the public to consider provocative images of women, with a prompt to call each of them, only to discover their lived realities of sex trafficking. It operated as a collaboration between Marian and six European partners – Fondation Scelles (Paris), Samilia Foundation (Brussels), Animus Association (Sofia), O Ninho (Lisbon) and ACSIS (Bucharest).
Thought provoking posters featuring different silhouetted women alongside a number and a name were advertised in each city. In Ireland, Ruhama organised advertising ‘Andreea’ in a variety of busy locations in Dublin, a few other towns and online. ‘Andreea’ was a silhouette image posed seductively alongside a phone number. Callers were greeted by the voicemail message of a bubbly Eastern European woman who promised a fun, ‘sensual’ time. But her story quickly took a dark turn when ‘Andreea’ revealed she had in fact been trafficked into Ireland’s sex trade. She closed the voicemail by asking the caller to leave her a message with their thoughts.
The results from each city were recorded, analysed and launched in Brussels in October 2017, with a second event #SEXPLOITED, taking place in Paris in January 2018.
Find out more about the results of the project in Dublin here.
For more info on the A Penny For Your Thoughts project, visit here.