Tracking the Traffic

During an eight-month research trip with a grant from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), Elianna Renner developed the interdisciplinary art project “Tracking the traffic”, in which she follows the traces of Jewish pimp circle Zwi Migdal, that abducted Jewish girls from poorer eastern European communities between 1860 and 1930, and forced them into prostitution. The locations in which the circle was active included New York, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Saõ Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Shanghai, Johannesburg and Capetown. During her research, Elianna Renner visited these places, conducting interviews with historians, writers, musicians, and film makers, that had already been studying the topic. Simultaneously, she visited cemeteries and archives, searching for clues the women’s lives had left behind in tombstones, songs, theatre pieces, and literature.