A chance meeting with a survivor led me to investigate the murky world of trafficking. Trafficking is a silent issue. It happens right in front of us, we just don’t see it. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. Lack of reliable reporting has led the internet to be filled with cliché representational images. There are too few stories, with little human connection or emotion, leading to no impact.

Through “We Cry In Silence,” I’ve tried to put a face to this issue and fill in the gaps. My work focuses on cross-border trafficking of underage girls in South Asia for sex work and domestic servitude. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, I’ve taken great care to protect the identities of the girls, worked within ethical and legal boundaries, and collaborated with organizations and law enforcement agencies to amplify my work.

“We Cry In Silence” is now a book and an educational campaign, which seeks to connect visual journalism to those who can’t afford to buy expensive magazines and are blocked by paywalls, through workshops, presentations, exhibitions, and a free zine to encourage engagement around visual storytelling as a tool for advocacy and change.

Artist Bios

  • Smita Sharma

    Smita Sharma

    Smita Sharma is a Delhi based photojournalist who has documented social justice, sexual crimes, human trafficking, and environmental issues in the Global South through long-form visual narratives. Smita is a TED fellow, TED Speaker, and an IWMF reporting fellow. For “Stolen Lives”, her in-depth work documenting sex trafficking in India and Bangladesh for National Geographic Magazine, she received the Amnesty International Media Award and the Fetisov Journalism Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting. Her work has been published in National Geographic Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, WSJ, TIME, BBC World, Human Rights Watch, and Die Zeit, amongst many others, and exhibited globally including at the UN Headquarters in New York. Smita is actively engaged in public speaking, victim advocacy, and international public education. Her book We Cry In Silence, documenting cross-border trafficking of underage girls in South Asia (FotoEvidence), received the Award of Excellence at POY International and the 2023 Lucie Photo Book Prize in the Independent Category.

    Photo credit: Dinesh Khanna


  • PhotoWings


    We’re honored to continue our partnership with Photoville for our 8th consecutive year, and to celebrate Photoville’s 13th edition!  Each year Photoville provides so many rich, unique, and diverse experiences in and around photography–PhotoWings is thrilled to help enrich this community as Education Partners.

    Our mission is to highlight and help facilitate the power of photography to influence the world. We help photography to be better understood, created, utilized, seen, and saved. We are dedicated to utilizing the power of photography to further deep thinking, communication, and action.

    The PhotoWings Outreach Program and our extensive media archive have myriad educational applications and possibilities, including projects from partners that cross disciplines, generations, and cultures. We also create toolkits/curricula for replication, adaptation and/or inspiration.

    PhotoWings has partnered to document the Photoville Talks for the past five years, to expand the ways the global community can be a part of these important dialogues. Explore the collection of Photoville Talks today!

    Be sure to check out all the Photoville Resources that have been supported in partnership with PhotoWings

    And for more information about PhotoWings, you can visit


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

We Cry In Silence

 coming soon

Featuring: Smita Sharma

Curated by: Sarah Leen

Presented by: PhotoWings and Photoville
  • PhotoWings
  • Photoville


ON VIEW AT: Truss Banner 36

View Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza

1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Number 1 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map

This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby

Listen to Smita discuss her project in great depth, in an interview with PhotoWings here.

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