Missing persons advocate draws on street art and storytelling for unmissable campaign
Artists and families unite to tell stories of missing persons in unique awareness campaign.
A new awareness campaign aiming to make missing people ‘unmissable’ has been launched by the Missing Persons Advocacy Network (MPAN). The campaign follows 2016’s ‘Too short stories’ campaign, and features a reimagining of traditional missing persons posters into vibrant stories and images that reflect the person that family and friends know.
Over 38,000 Australians are reported missing every year, with many remaining missing long term. The new campaign – ‘The Unmissables’ – uses Australia’s best storytellers and artists to highlight the untold stories of missing people.
Artists and authors are matched with the family of a long-term missing person to create a piece of art that highlights the missing person as an individual – beyond their vital statistics. For example, acclaimed author Benjamin Law and Melbourne street artist Heesco were paired with the parents of missing Burwood East man, Tej Chitnis. The launch of this campaign, with a public mural for Tej at the Queen Victoria Market, marks the first anniversary of his disappearance.
The campaign’s focal point is an online hub (theunmissables.com.au) developed in partnership with The White Agency, which features a series of reimagined missing persons posters, where cold statistics are replaced with stories, and grainy photographs are replaced with works of art. The campaign calls for new contributors to donate their talents and a ‘call for walls’ request for gallery or building owners to donate their walls to feature the artworks.
“The Unmissables is very important work that I’m immensely proud of,’ says Loren O’Keeffe, founder and director of MPAN. “It’s the perfect vehicle to make these often forgotten faces, unmissable.”