'We Cry in Silence': Smita Sharma
Feb 17, 2023 | 6pm
On Friday, February 17, Smita Sharma will introduce her book during the opening of the exhibition, with copies available for sale.
'We Cry In Silence’ is Smita Sharma’s seven-year-long investigation into cross-border trafficking of minor girls across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal for sex work and domestic servitude. The project focuses on highly organized trafficking rings, unveiling the vulnerability of these young women and why they become trafficking victims. The project aims both to understand this complicated issue and open a dialogue that might spur people to work towards solutions.
The project has resulted in a multilingual photo book published by FotoEvidence, with illustrations and resources to educate people about this global crime. The book is part of a larger campaign, which includes exhibitions, community events, and free distribution of a 12-page zine in Bengali, Hindi, and English to raise awareness. It is also being distributed to schools and college libraries in India and to anti-trafficking organizations in South Asia.
Smita Sharma is a Delhi-based award-winning photojournalist and visual storyteller. Sharma reports on critical human rights, gender, social justice, and environmental issues in her own community, as well as in the Global South on assignments for Human Rights Watch, National Geographic Magazine, TIME, and other publications. For more information, visit smitasharma.com
The FotoEvidence Association works at the intersection of human rights and photography through the FotoEvidence Book Award and the FotoEvidence W Award for a woman photographer. The organization aims to expand and support the work of FotoEvidence, a publishing house established in 2010, dedicated to documentary photography focused on human rights and social and ecological justice. For more information, visit fotoevidence.com
IMAGE: M., who is now 18, waits for a train with her cousin in South 24 Parganas, a largely poor district in West Bengal with a high incidence of trafficking. A man M. met in a class sold her to a brothel in Delhi. She managed to call her father and was rescued by police with help from a nonprofit called Shakti Vahini. “This incident is a dark episode in my life,” M. said. “When I came home, I was scared and ashamed. But I am not afraid anymore.” © Smita Sharma