An Artist Finds A Way To Open The Conversation About Human Trafficking

By: Charmaine Santos

Edited by: Sharon E. Chin


Molly Gochman, a Texas-born New York based artist, has fused art and activism together to open up the conversation about human trafficking. Her “Red Sand Project” uses a theme of cracks to represent the U.S.- Mexico border to illustrate the vulnerability that plague many trafficking victims. Gochman interviewed with The Untitled Magazine about her project and human trafficking.

Gochman confided that she took a break from her art in order to learn about human trafficking and figure out how she can be of use to preventing it. She decided to base her large-scale public project in Houston because it is known to be a hub for trafficking. Gochman says, “I thought it would be a great city to kind of put my roots down as far as a land art instillation.”

The shape of the land art instillation is like the shape of the border between the United States and Mexico. While on her break, she noticed that cracks are often overlooked, though they are vulnerable places that we see all the time. Similarly, victims of human trafficking are vulnerable and often overlooked, even when they are in plain sight. She invited the community to participate by putting the final layer of bright red sand on top. Gochman explains that the layers of sand are at the same level as the grass in the area so someone driving by won’t notice the bright red line that is there, just like how human trafficking is hiding in plain sight.

Charmaine Santos is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.


Jones, A. (2015, May 4). “Socially Responsible Art—The Red Sand Project—Interview With Artist Molly Gochman.” The Untitled Magazine. Retrieved May 20, 2015 from

Photo Credit: (Molly Gochman)

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