Each year, about 60 million women are forced to marry against their will. They have to face lives without love, and lots of them are trying hard to end such miserable situations. There has been a need to raise awareness of the problem and create a solution to help its victims.
On the Hohenzollern Bridge in Cologne, Germany, couples fix padlocks to the railings to ensure everlasting love. We put extra 3,500 blue padlocks spelling out “FREE THE FORCED”. Each lock, representing a woman who was suffering from forced marriage, displayed a QR code for passers-by to scan with their smartphones.
We choose a location where forced love contrasts sharply with voluntary love. We want to catch people on a “love bridge” when they are in a romantic mood and use the traditional “love padlock” in a new way that makes them curious.