No Footprints When We Go

Casa de la Memoria Indomita

Mexican artist Alfredo Lopez Casanova has created quite a stir with his “life imitates art” display that brings the plight of missing persons to the forefront of citizens’ hearts and minds around the world. Casanova’s “Hanging Shoes” exhibit opened May 9 and ran through June 25, 2016 at the Casa de la Memoria Indomita (“Museum of Untamed Memory”) in Mexico City.  

The display was created out of respect for the crisis of missing Mexican citizens that has plagued the country for decades. Family members of people who have disappeared have donated more than 60 pairs of shoes to serve as reminders of how far they have walked in their journey to find their loved ones. On display are sneakers, boots, heels, and children’s shoes. Each pair of shoes is exhibited with a message from the families with declarations such as: “We love you” and “We will never stop looking for you.”

Museum Director Jorge Galvez stated, “These shoes symbolize the fight for the truth and the denunciation against the state-sponsored crimes that result in these disappearances. People react differently to the exhibit. Some are sad and cry, while others come out with a better understanding of the issue, and some become outraged.”

Missing Persons Around The Globe Is Epidemic

In the United States, nearly 100,000 persons are reported missing at any given time; 60% of missing people are adults over 18, while 40% of missing persons are juveniles. Amazingly, the vast majority of missing persons cases are resolved and many times there are happy endings to these stories.

The Signs of The Times – SOTT – website reports that globally, 607 people go missing every single day without a trace. In a year, this total includes 221,644 missing individuals; over twenty years 4,432,880 – more than the population of New Zealand or the entire population of Ireland.

In the past 20 years, nearly 4.5 million people globally went missing, never to return.

The emotional impact on people who are looking for missing loved ones cannot be overstated. To have a close relationship with someone who has vanished without a trace is possibly one of the deepest wounds anyone can endure, with almost no prospect of closure. The wishful thinking that a loved one is still “out there” does little to mend the tear in a person’s heart, and can never fully allow anyone to move ahead with their own life with the acceptance of what has transpired, simply because they do not know what happened.

It’s Okay To Put Your Foot In Your Mouth!

What can we, as individuals, do to help stem the tide of missing persons? Be mindful of our environment. Notice out-of-place people in the neighborhood, and call authorities if need be. If we ring out a false alarm, so be it. Parents have a new type of system to deal with besides child snatchers: The lure of the Internet has opened up a new world for kidnappers and predators. And online dating has become a hot-spot for stalkers as well.

Each of us has the absolute right and authority to speak up about what happens in our world. If we “see something” then follow up. We can all lend our voice to be heard above the din. And keep pushing the solution out through our thoughts and actions, by reminding ourselves  that if someone could “walk a mile in our moccasins” they will fully understand the unalterable fact that Love is the Answer.

Carmen Allgood © 2016

Image courtesy Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

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Music courtesy Canadian Artist
Bruce Cockburn – No Footprints
Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaw 1979


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