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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Art exposes reality of sex trade
section of Journey exhibit
The installation follows a woman's enslavement into a brothel
Sex trafficking in the UK is the focus of the latest art installation in London's Trafalgar Square.

The exhibit, entitled Journey, portrays the harsh reality of the lives of women sold as sex slaves.

Seven individually designed containers trace the journey of a woman from her home in Eastern Europe to a brothel where she is enslaved.

The installation was created in support of the Helen Bamber Foundation which works with the survivors of cruelty.

Bloodstained bed

The London-based charity used the experiences of those it has helped to come up with the narrative for the project.

One of the containers, which stand along the North Terrace of the square, documents the woman's battles with the Home Office for asylum.

Another box replicates the room where a real woman was enslaved, showing a dirty, bloodstained bed standing beneath a notice board displaying the prices for various sexual acts.

Through Journey, the Foundation hopes to highlight the massive criminal industry that has grown up around prostitution.

Actress Emma Thompson, chair of the Helen Bamber Foundation, designed the containers which were brought to life by artist Anish Kapoor and Michael Howells.

Ms Thompson said: "Londoners are already uncomfortable in their own city, because they are uncomfortable with the number of strangers and the strange languages they hear.

"We are showing them what the reality of the lives of some of these women is like - the women who are sold into slavery and tortured."

The installation will be in London for a week before being transported to other British cities, followed by a tour of Europe, including many Eastern European cities.


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