Born Into Brothels

A very moving documentary following the work of photographer Zana Briski whose initial approach was to document the life of the Calcutta red light district, but when Zana moved into a Brothel she developed a profound and life-changing relationship with the children of the prostitutes. She gave them cameras and started teaching them photography as an antidote to the harsh realities of their lives. Her work did not end here, Zana organised exhibitions of their work initially in New York, to raise funds for their education. A battle ensued to find a school that would even accept the child of a prostitute and then more battles to keep them at school against the cultural system that had a very different destiny prescribed for them.

I must admit that when I watched this film, having been to India many times and knowing how difficult negotioating the caste system can be, I was pessimistic about any real change that could be made. Let’s just say I am very happy to be wrong, and that to change the life of even one child makes it all worthwhile.

…and one of the children Avjit studied film at NYU. Here is his youtube channel: Avjit Halder

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