STORM Models gave its support to a very worthwhile cause last night by attending a launch party for a new ebook, entitled Taken, which investigates the sinister underworld of sex trafficking and slavery in Mumbai, India. Written by Hazel Thompson, the book uses groundbreaking photography, film, audio commentary and maps to tell the stories of women and girls at the heart of the issue.
“We’ve worked with Hazel Thompson on a number of projects and know her work,” said Storm director Simon Chambers (brother of Sarah Doukas). “She is a brilliant investigative reporter and her photography is very powerful. This project has been her passion for the past 11 years. We are working with Hazel on some other projects, and she’s also a friend, so it was natural for us to want to support Taken.”
One of the model agency’s talents – Bip Ling, who will work with the author, Hazel Thompson, on a project later this year – also showed her support for the book, by playing a DJ set at the event. All proceeds of Taken will go towards rescuing and rehabilitating girls and women from Mumbai’s sex industry through the Jubilee Campaign charity. Thompson hopes that the book – which she describes as a “document of evidence” – will serve as a catalyst for change.
“These women don’t have a voice, but we can be one for them,” Thompson said. “I want their story to go beyond the current affairs community; I want this book to go viral. This problem isn’t going to solve itself, nothing changes until people start talking about it. These brothels are visited by thousands of men every day; they need to be shut down. We just need to apply pressure and help make the change.”