Beauty for Freedom Illuminate – 9/30 Book Launch and Book Signing Event at Kodomo (Boston)

Saturday, September 30th 12-6pm at Kodomo Boston (579 Tremont St., Boston, MA, 02118)

Supporting Survivors of Trafficking and At-Risk Youth in India

Saturday, September 30th 12-6pm, Kodomo Boston and NYC- based non-profit Beauty for Freedom (BFF) presents “Illuminate”: a book launch and book signing event hosted by Fashion Executive Suwana Perry and Beauty for Freedom Executive Director Monica Watkins in support of survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth from New Light, Kolkata, a registered public charitable trust inside the red-light district of Kalighat, Kolkata that offers comprehensive community development services.

Perhaps some of the attendees of the book signing event would like some questions answered regarding some of their own writing aspirations – “what do you need to do to publish a book?” being one such example. While there may not be enough time to go into this during the signing, there is plentiful information online on the matter through websites such as Reedsy where you can find details on getting your book prepared for publishing, self-publishing, print, digital distribution, and more.

“ILLUMINATE”, a collection of photographs created by young survivors of trafficking and at-risk youth in Kolkata, India engaged the youth to visualize their community of Kalighat-West Bengal, Kolkata, India (red light district) in an empowered way. During our Beauty for Freedom photography workshop series with the youth, we promoted self-esteem and self-expression and “Illuminate” is a reflection of that empowered exploration.

*100% of the proceeds from the photographs and books will be donated to BFF’s travel abroad arts programming and New Light Kolkata.

October 2016, a team of 9 artists from New York City-based anti-trafficking non-profit, Beauty for Freedom travelled to Kolkata, India to work with over 100 of New Light Kolkata’s young survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth to cultivate their hopes and dreams through art, using a Beauty for Freedom workshop series as a tool to empower.

Photography workshops taught by Anirudh Agarwal, focused on community portraiture. What the children captured were these very personal moments, the innocence of the people of Kalighat. This was juxtaposed to the visibility of the red-light district’s intergenerational horrors of sex trafficking, violence, and prostitution. “Illuminate” has a transcendent quality that engages the viewer to see beyond the difficult circumstances surrounding life in Kalighat and leaves us all with a lasting impression that love truly exists in this place and that life is not as polarizing as one might think, given the fact that creativity, culture, and pride thrive in Kalighat.

The photography students were welcomed into homes and gained entrance into the daily lives of the people of the community because many of the youth were born and raised in Kalighat before moving into New Light’s CRECHE CUM SHELTER located as a permanent structure above a temple situated deep inside the Kalighat red light district. The shelter offers comprehensive care and support to the children ranging from a few months old to sixteen years.

Beauty for Freedom’s intensive photography program instructed 40 youth ages 9-27 over a 5-day course and yielded over 5000 images. The final collection of images and the “Illuminate” book project launched globally August 2017.



About Beauty for Freedom

Beauty for Freedom is an innovative, sustainable platform providing the industries of Beauty and Fashion with a means to raise awareness, accountability and financial contributions for charitable foundations and non-profits who fight human trafficking globally.

Fall 2016, Beauty for Freedom produced a series of music, photography, mural, fashion and painting workshops in India meant to promote self-esteem and self-expression for survivors of sex-trafficking and at-risk youth and will continue their empowerment arts therapy work Summer 2017 in Ghana with survivors of labor trafficking through #ProjectGhana.

Beauty for Freedom has been fierce in its mission to engage the industries of Beauty and Fashion as powerful allies in the fight to end human trafficking through public campaigns, workshops, and fundraising events.

About Kodomo Boston

Outfitting the grade-school set in fashion forward threads is child’s play for South End boutique Kodomo and its sister shop Kodomo (annex) in Beacon Hill. Owner Jasmine Punzalan stocks styles from an international roster of indie designers who favor slow manufacturing, neutral colors and graphic prints, like celeb fave (and her sons’ go-to) Nununu out of Israel. Dresses, tees, tailored shirts and pants, shoes and accessories satisfy everyone from infants through tweens-plus parents who wish the fashions came in their size.

For Press Inquiries and to RSVP, please email