Painting the Exploitation Highway

Meninadanca x Graffiti Life

Known as the ‘exploitation highway’, the BR-166 is the worst highway in the world for child sexual exploitation. It is not uncommon for girls as young as nine years old to be forced into the horrors of prostitution along the sides of this second longest highway in Brazil.

This week, Graffiti Life artist Sophie Meseg, along with Film Maker, Emily Hatter, will be travelling to Minas Gerais in Brazil, to create two stunning murals. In collaboration with the charity, Meninadanca, they hope to help transform the area, as well as raise awareness of the cause.

Meninadanca work with some of the most vulnerable girls in the world, at risk from, or victims of, sexual exploitation.

The project will result in two murals. The first, in Cândido Sales, is designed by Sophie, and draws inspiration from dance, which is often used by Meninadanca as a tool to encourage the girls they work with to express themselves. The mural features a dancing girl, full of movement and colour, signifying freedom and female empowerment. The goal of this mural is to generate interest and awareness for the charity and their services within the local communities. We aim to inspire and establish a connection with some of the harder to reach at-risk young females.

Our second installation will be created during a workshop in Medina, lead by Graffiti Life artist Sophie, and involving the local girls. Using art and collaboration to teach and inspire the girls, the mural will be designed and painted by the workshoppers, and left as a permanent feature to inspire pride and a sense of achievement.

This year we will be dedicating International Women’s Day to these girls. The project will be documented by Emily Hatter, resulting in a short, share-able documentary film. We aim to create a huge amount of publicity to shine a light on this heart-breaking situation, but mostly to and raise awareness for the empowering and uplifting work Meninadanca do, bringing hope and changing.

To find out more about the charity please visit
If you’d like to donate to this cause please visit 100% of funds raised here go to the charity.

To follow the project and see the murals come to life, follow our Instagram updates @graffiti_Life and @sophiemess_

The short film will be released on March 8th on our YouTube channel;