Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Born into brothels
I recently watched an incredible documentary called "Born into brothels" and I highly recommend it.
In 1997, Zana Briski, a photographer, decided to spend some time in the red light district of Calcutta, to work on a project on prostitutes living in the brothels. She ended up becoming fascinated by the children of these prostitutes, who also lived in the brothels. She decided to give a few of these children photography lessons, and even managed to give them each a camera of their own, encouraging them to take their own pictures. The results are stunning. Some of these kids really do have an undiscovered talent.
But beyond the pictures, what really touched me was the kids...it's their tears and their smiles, their wisdom and their innocence, their dreams and their fears, the sadness in their eyes, the cruel and harsh world they live in, and the incredible optimism that puts everything into perspective.
It was really an eye-opening documentary. And after watching it, I realized that our world is not all that bad. And that we can make a difference, as cliché as that sounds. And that it's the little things that really matter. All these kids needed was someone that would give them a chance. And Zana Briski did just that. By simply giving them a camera, she was able to make a difference in their lives. She was able to bring hope into their lives. She was able to make them realize that just because they were born into brothels doesn't mean they should remain there for the rest of their lives.
Zana Briski has since created a foundation called "Kids with Cameras", a non-profit organization that teaches the art of photography to marginalized children in communities around the world.