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17 August 2005

"Something" Into...


B

rothels... All I needed to see was the title and I knew what I was watching last night on HBO. What the "something" was, wasn't important. It was about brothels! Yes, I admit it, I am a slut for movie titles like that, aren't we all? Anyway, on with the brothels of somewhere. Actually, the real title once it started was Born into Brothels... and was I surprised.

I wanted to do this group justice and not add too many of my own words... so I ummm "lifted" some aspects of the story from their website Kids With Cameras In Calcutta's red light district, over 7,000 women and girls work as prostitutes. Only one group has a lower standing: their children. Zana Briski became involved in the lives of these children in 1998 when she first began photographing prostitutes in Calcutta. Living in the brothels for months at a time, she quickly developed a relationship with many of the kids who, often terrorized and abused, were drawn to the rare human companionship she offered.



Fascinated by her camera, Zana thought it would be great to see the world through their eyes. It was at that moment that she had the idea of teaching photography to the children of prostitutes. To do so would involve overcoming nearly insurmountable obstacles – brothel owners, pimps, police, local politicians, and organized crime syndicate. Zana held weekly photography workshops between 2000 and 2003. There the children learned camera basics, lighting, composition, the development of point-of-view, editing, and sequencing for narrative. To Zana's delight, equipped with inexpensive point-and-shoot35mmm cameras, the children produced incredible work. Their images are explosions of color: self-portraits, family pictures, street scenes, stunning tableaus of Bengali life. These children were destined to become just like their parents and sisters, if nothing could be done.






To make a really long story short. By the time this woman was done, teaching the kids, etc... and the kids living their lives as the offspring of prostitutes, and father-pimps, she took their photos to New York and to Christie's famous auction house. Instant success for these kids.



The photos, along with their stories were remarkable. Zana even went further and made some contacts with friends who could actually do something with the photos. They decided to have a "showing" and bring the kids to New York for the opening. It was unbelievable to see the looks on their faces when they saw their prints, in frame, hanging on the walls. They were even more astonished when they saw the people that came, and talking excitedly about their pictures. What was more astonishing was the pricetags... For the entire collection of prints... I believe were 11 in total... $10,000.00

Yes, you read correctly... If you want to read more, or buy any of the photos go to the website I mentioned above.

Observations and Questions
What do you think?






Birth Announcements and Death Notices

"Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier" Yes, in 1786, Davy Crockett, US frontiersman/adventurer/politician/defender of the Alamo. And rounding out the death notices we have in 1990, Pearl Bailey, broadway actress/singer, dies at 72 from a heart attack.


Gentle Reminder of the Day

Still time :) Come on, you know you wanna send in your picture.

Medical Alert! Medical Alert!

Remember yesterday where I saluted the material girl on her birthday? Here's how she celebrated:

For most stars in the fickle music business, the bad break is hitting middle age. For Madonna, it's suffering bad breaks on her 47th birthday.

The still potent pop powerhouse broke a collarbone, fractured a hand and cracked three ribs Tuesday after she fell from a horse while riding on her London-area estate

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