HRH Princess Eugenie visits Art Is Freedom exhibition

Today HRH Princess Eugenie visited Trafalgar Square to see an exhibition of art and photography created by survivors of modern slavery, launched by leading modern slavery charity Hestia ahead of Anti-Slavery Day (18 October). 

This year’s ‘Art is Freedom’ exhibition, now celebrating its fifth year, has been curated by two survivors of modern slavery who have been supported by Hestia, alongside HRH Princess Eugenie and Julia de Boinville from the Anti-Slavery Collective.

The exhibition is free to attend and is on display from Friday 14 – Sunday 23 October at Trafalgar Square, London Bridge station and outside South Kensington underground station.

Hestia is the leading provider of modern slavery support in London and the Southeast, supporting 2,600 survivors in 2021. The charity has been supporting survivors for over a decade – both in safe houses and in the community.

Survivors supported by Hestia's Modern Slavery Response Service took part in art and photography workshops over the summer, before submitting their best pieces for the exhibition.

At Trafalgar Square, Princess Eugenie met with some of the artists behind the exhibition, and was also joined by her Anti-Slavery Collective co-founder Julia de Boinville, Hestia CEO Patrick Ryan, Hestia Regional Director Nahar Choudhury, Lord Mayor of Westminster Hamza Taouzzale, and Councillor Aicha Less, Deputy Leader of Westminster City Council. 

HRH Princess Eugenie, co-founder of The Anti-Slavery Collective, said

It’s been incredibly inspiring to see the Art is Freedom exhibition today and to meet some of the artists in person. Each piece of artwork tells a unique story of overcoming adversity, strength, building a sense of community, and recovery. The Anti-Slavery Collective is honoured to have co-curated the exhibition, and we look forward to continuing to shine a light on this important issue.

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive of Hestia said:

Survivors of modern slavery have endured a brutality which most of us cannot even imagine. Art is Freedom is way of celebrating and nurturing the talents, ambitions, and resilience of survivors. They are remarkable individuals, and we are privileged that they share their creativity with us so publicly and generously. We were delighted to welcome HRH Princess Eugenie to visit the exhibition today, and I encourage all Londoners to do the same.

One of the survivors featured in the exhibition said

Being part of Art is Freedom has been a lifeline for me. I met so many others who had been through similar things to me, I made friends and one day I even taught the art class. This inspired me to go back to college and get some more qualifications. I have always enjoyed school and learning, and I have so many dreams and aspirations.

Modern slavery is a serious crime affecting an estimated 136,000 people across the UK* – but it is a crime that is often hidden. Hestia’s exhibition aims to change perceptions of modern slavery, to enable the British public to recognise that it happens in London and the UK and that anyone can become a victim of criminals.

Find out more about the artists and how to spot the signs of modern slavery at