The True Stories Project: Oakland, California and Kathmandu, Nepal

The True Stories Project: Oakland, California and Kathmandu, Nepal

1024 683 Art Works for Change

The True Stories Project: Oakland, California and Kathmandu, Nepal

Debbie, age 15, wakes up at 5:00 a.m. and begins working the streets of Oakland, by 5:30 turning tricks or meeting johns through the Internet till 2:30 am. She is one of thousands of young American girls who have been abducted or lured from their normal lives and made into sex slaves.

According to the FBI, more than 100,000 children are sold for sex in the United States each year. They range in age from 9 to 19, with the average in Oakland being 12 years old. Human trafficking has become the third largest criminal business in the world.

Sita, age 15, displaced and vulnerable, from a small village devastated by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, was targeted by human traffickers supplying a network of brothels across South Asia. An estimated 15,000 Nepali girls are sexually trafficked each year.

We need to hear these stories to create awareness and stop the abuse. Only when the exploitation and abuse of one gender by another — of the powerless by the powerful — remains hidden can it continue. Exposed to the light, such abuse can be seen as the vicious and ugly thing that it is.

About the Project

Through a series of interactive workshops over a 6-month period, Art Works for Change, in collaboration with the Kathmandu-based Siddhartha Gallery, used the arts and storytelling activities to help empower victims of sex trafficking and those at-risk for exploitation in Oakland, California and Nepal.

The project has since grown into an exhibition that includes artwork produced in the project, along with artworks created by invited artists whose internationally-renowned work resonates with the themes of exploitation and empowerment.

Exhibition Venues

Patan Museum, Kathmandu, Nepal | May 1-31, 2017

Please contact us at: if you are interested in hosting the exhibition.

Participating Artists and Organizations

Marilyn Minter, Lin Tianmiao, Hung Liu, Parastou Forouhar, Thomas L. Kelly, Ang Tsherin Sherpa, Don and Era Farnsworth; Grassroots Girls Book Club, Hitman Gurung, Stacy Leigh, AWARE/OWARE Game for Female Empowerment, Natalie Naccache, Sheelasha Raibhandari, The Ugly Truth Campaign, Gabriela Morawetz, Girls Inc, Siddhartha Gallery, and others