History of Red Sand Project

Molly Gochman first launched Red Sand Project in 2014, after realizing the depths to which human trafficking and modern slavery continues to be a contemporary reality. Globally, an estimated 50 million individuals are being trafficked or living in modern slavery, whether in forced marriages, forced labor, or for sexual exploitation. Molly recognized that to begin finding a solution to such a widespread challenge, increased public awareness and engagement would be essential. She initiated the first Red Sand Project action in Miami, where she filled the cracks of sidewalks in and around the Art Basel Miami Beach pavilion with red sand. The approach was symbolic, with the grains of sand representing those individuals who fall through the cracks—whether the cracks of our social, economic, and political systems or those of our personal consciousness.

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To expand the reach of the project, Molly launched this website offering Red Sand Project toolkits, which include packets of red sand and information about human trafficking and modern slavery in the U.S. and across the world, giving participants a way to physically engage with the cause and to build discussions around the action. Today, Red Sand Project actions have been done in all 50 states and in 70 countries, with more than one million participants.

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In 2015, Molly added earthworks — large-scale, site-specific outdoor land art installations — to Red Sand Project. Stretching hundreds of feet long in the shapes of political borders, earthworks highlight the ways in which borders, drawn arbitrarily through history, divide communities and make individuals more vulnerable to human trafficking, modern slavery, and exploitation. Red Sand Project has installed four earthworks to date, with more planned in the future.

Red Sand Project is an initiative of Stardust Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
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Today, Red Sand Project actions have been done in all 50 states and in 70 countries, with more than one million participants.


Molly Gochman

We can’t merely walk over the most marginalized people in our communities—those who fall through the metaphoric cracks.”

- Molly Gochman

Molly Gochman is an interdisciplinary artist and activist. Molly’s work aims to bring together the collective experiences of many people for greater understanding. Molly is known for activating public spaces and creating participatory experiences through large and small scale installations. In addition to her art practice, she serves as the Founder & President of Stardust, a multidisciplinary team of doers and dreamers working towards a future where all women and girls can fulfill their potential.