October 14th, 2006

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Born Into Brothels

Born Into Brothels finally came up in my Netflix queue. What an amazing film. I kind of expected along the lines of isn't it sad about the poverty these children live in. There's some of that, but the movie is more a celebration of the talent of the children profiled.

Zana Briski has been living and working with the prostitutes of Sonaguchi, one of Kolkata's red light districts. She gave a number of children cameras and taught them photography. I knew the film was to feature their photography, but in the long wait I'd forgotten this. So when the first photographs came up I was just amazed at their quality. It was only a few minutes later that I realized the photos were all taken by the children.

Briski worked to get the children admitted to boarding schools, with partial success. Along the way, the photographs were exhibited in the U.S. and Europe, with the proceeds going to pay for the schools.

Avijit seemed to be the most talented. This was one of his where he picked up a bucket of water and sand and poured it out to put something in both the foreground and background. They don't have many of their photographs online, but follow the link below to see a few of what they do have.

Kids with Cameras is now setting up similar projects in other countries.