2009. 126 pages.46 colour plates
156 x 134 mm
‘We might prefer not to listen, not to hear these stories, nor to look at these photographs; it is more comfortable to turn a blind eye or deaf ear. Popa’s images, however, are utterly compelling. She challenges us to think beyond what is contained within the photograph’s frame.’
– Variant Magazine
Natasha is a nickname given to prostitutes with Eastern European looks. Sex-trafficked girls hate it. This major project began in 2006 when Dana Popa first travelled to the Republic of Moldova to document, through photography and collected stories, the experiences of sex-trafficked women and their families. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova is one of the main trafficking source countries for women and children.
It is estimated that between 200,000 and 400,000 women have been sold into prostitution abroad. In Moldova, Popa worked with the International Organization for Migration Shelters and Winlock International where she was given access to photograph and document the experiences of 17 women who had been trafficked.
In 2008, Autograph ABP commissioned Popa to return to Moldova where she began to collect the stories of the disappeared and photographed the families, the homes and in some cases the children who have been left behind. Finally, she returned to the UK where she documented the spaces where trafficked women work as prostitutes in the brothels of Soho in London.