Just watched an inspiring documentary called “Born into brothels”, recommended to me by my sister.
The documentary was produced in 2004 by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman. Zana Briski is a New York based photographer who spent some time in Calcutta taking pictures of the women who worked as prostitutes. While she stayed there, she became close to the children and started showing them how to take photos. As well as helping to develop the children’s photography skills, she was keen to offer them hope, a way out of the red light district through education, and she battles to get them places at a boarding school.
You can keep up to where the kids are at here —>
I really like that you can see where the kids are 8 years after the documentary was produced. From looking at the website it does seem that a lot of the children are doing well, and that the opportunities given to them have transformed their lives.
There has been criticism from the DMSC of how she portrayed the parents (as uncaring), for stereotyping, for causing more harm than good… however, the DMSC themselves are a controversial entity after reports that they allow underage girls, sex slavery and trafficking within the red light district… !
Very quickly- it all becomes extremely complex! and I am certainly no expert either…
Here is another interesting article on the legalization of prostitution:
But my humble opinion after watching it… is I think it’s a great example of a creative way to make a difference, and that it offers some insight into their world.
You can never force change upon someone.
A child will often run back to the arms of the parents that harm them, just as some wives run back to the arms of husbands that beat them.
But you can offer someone an alternative, an opportunity, a choice. and choice is a massive thing.
Before their eyes were opened up to a world outside the brothel, did they have much choice?
All opinions aside, one cannot dispute the innocence and beauty of children, or their need for protection and education.
Neither can they deny the light that shines in their eyes when they experience the joy of something simple, like taking a photograph..