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"Girls On The Move - The Unheard Stories" is an immersive exhibition at the Museum of Photography in Stockholm. The dream of a better future makes millions of girls leave their homes each year. Every girl carries a powerful story – why she migrates, the risks she faces, and the vision of a future she heads toward. Girls on the Move is a global series of action research conducted by Save the Children on three continents to increase the knowledge about the situation for girls on the move. The aim is to cultivate a more nuanced understanding of how gender impacts the experience and outcomes for children in migration. Our goal with the exhibition was to bring the stories from the research to life in new ways, for new audiences.

The Fotografiska Museum


Inside the room we hear girls' voices – outtakes from research interviews where they talk about their experiences, hopes and dreams. Their words also appear as text on the walls, gradually dissolving as they have been spoken. The fragments from the words then travel across the room in the form of the most common migrant routes in the world today. Eventually the word-fragments reach the center wall where they assume the shape of an improvised hair salon, inside a freight container.

Many of the girls have told of places on the dangerous road that served as temporary gaps of calm - physical places where you could feel community for a while. In southern Africa and Latin America, hairdressing salons, sometimes simply furnished in cargo containers, are one such place. Here, the girls have had the opportunity to exchange experiences with each other and it has also been a place where Save the Children has met girls who have shared their stories.

Hair salons in Cape Town. ©Dewyk Pretorius.

The salon here becomes a symbol of something temporarily stable in a world in turmoil - a place full of stories in transit, hopefully on the way to something better. In the exhibition the hair salon is built with the girls' stories until it is completed, created from 20 million fragments - one for every girl who is currently on the move in the world today.

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