In 2017 there were 2,400 immigrant children being detained by the U.S. Now the number is over 14,000 and counting. They are seeking refuge and safety from violence and poverty, but instead are being held in detention centers, away from everything and everyone they know. They are missing from their loved ones, homes, schools, playgrounds and most importantly, they are missing their childhood.
The art installation is a 20 ft clear polycarbonate plastic milk carton supported by white coated steel that has been welded down to a dense support base of 12,000lbs. It is trimmed in white neon and contains interior shelves made of clear corrugated plastic and steel and individual half gallon wax coated milk cartons.
Each carton represents a child currently being detained by the U.S. government. It is a nod to the missing children milk carton campaign that ran from the mid 80’s to the late 90’s in the U.S. The shift in the messaging from the previous campaign highlights the fact that the children are missing from their families, while also bringing attention to what they are missing out on. These children are missing all of the wonderful things about being a child - their homes, mom and dad, siblings, love, grandparents, freedom, hugs, kisses, holidays, safety, innocence, fun, being cared for, joy, and most importantly their childhood. The words are glossy white decals that have been placed on each milk carton to communicate what they are missing.