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Life for Rent | Photojournalist: Gmb Akash

Life for Rent | Photojournalist: Gmb Akash | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it
Night is the meaning of life here. Don’t dare to feel I am talking about moonlit night. It’s about a place where fluorescent bulbs hesitate to light up the great darkness.  You have to go step by s...
Photo report's insight:

'Fighting over getting men at night does not change relationship between themselves on the day. An unknown bonding for each other has tied them up and takes care of them in dear need. That’s why, when a girl out of frustration cut her full hand with blade just to torture herself, her roommate wipe it off and put medicine on it. A six feet by six feet room is world for 3-4 girls, so when customer leave they decorate the bed with flowery bed sheet or place artificial flower for adding beauty of it. Knowing a home never will come in their life still they care for their small room as like their house' - GMB Akash 

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Underage | Photographer: Ohm Phanphiroj

Underage | Photographer:  Ohm Phanphiroj | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"Thailand has long been known as the sex capital of Asia, and according to a survey in 2004, there are approximately 800,000 underage prostitutes in Thailand and the money being traded at 4.3 billion per year or three percent of Thai economy. This alarming number has put Thailand on the top of the list of underage sexual exploitation according to the U.N.

Underage is a photographic documentation aimed at understanding the minds of these underage male prostitutes in a most candid and visceral way. I want the process to uncover a bit of the life, choice, and consequences that these young boys are experiencing.


Underage prostitution results from several reasons, from being molested by family members and/or relatives, poverty, being a runaway, and drug addiction.

This project is multi-layered and complex in its nature. Psychologically, the project offers provocative and haunting portraits of these lost souls. The visual is visceral and represents an ugly mess and deep-rooted problems of family, teenage years in Thailand, and society. The personal data of each subject is included to offer an insight and to peep into their lives and journey to the opposite side of norms, tradition, and perception. In addition, sexual identification and orientation are being questioned and investigated. While most subjects identify themselves as heterosexual young boys who come to terms with having sex with gay guys for money, almost all of them have never had sex with females. Many of them reason that all men must go through having sex with gay guys in order to understand how to have sex with females when such time comes.

 

I want the images to act as a mirror reflecting the rotten reality of child abuse and exploitation. I also want the images to pose painful questions about life, choice, consequences, and of humanity. Lastly, I hope the project will shed some light about this pervasive situation, raising questions for us about society, corruption, morals, and human treatment.

Also desire, innocence, corruption maturity of the observer, customer, and prostitute…when we look at the pictures, we take the part of both…the boy and the buyer…Mirror neurons"- Ohm Phanphiroj

Photo report's insight:

See the video documentary of this project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tMFoZkrkvY

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Brothels | Photojournalist: Miguel Candela

Brothels | Photojournalist: Miguel Candela | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

In July 2010, radical islamists burned down the brothel injuring two prostitutes and leaving most without anything. “We had to jump onto the river and losteverything”, recalls Hasina. “We even didn’t have clothesto wear and we were forced to live one month and a half in the open”. The attack was coordinated by middle aged men who want the prostitutes out. “They say that the women corrupt their boys and they know that their assault wouldn’t be punished by this hypocrite society”. explains Shirin Akter,an Action Aid worker, “and they know that their assaultwouldn’t be punished by this hypocrite society”.

 

Nobody was arrested and troops were deployed to protect thereconstruction of the place only after the Prostitutes’Association made a public pledge.  After countless demonstrations that stirred media interest, prostitutes now fight for their rights. They don’t have to walk barefoot when they leave the brothel anymore, and their bodies can be buried in a cemetery, though still in a separate one. Better than having their remains floating in the river covered by a sheet, anyway. But, still, sex workers’ IDs state their job and their address appears as ‘brothel’. That’s today’s fight. But the war goes to a higher ground: making prostitution legal in a country which Constitution stipulates it’s citizens’ right to choose their profession freely.

 

“Society uses us to fulfill their human needs, but treats us like animals”, criticizes Ahya Begum, 37, president of the Prostitute Association of Faridpur, which gets support from both SMS and the international NGO Action Aid. “Maybe our job is different from others, but human dignity has nothing to do with profession”, claims Begum during a public gathering in a small garage in front of Faridpur’s brothel compound. Women around her nod their heads in silence. In this kind of assembly, the girls vote and decide things such as minimum price for sex (never less than 100 taka), and minimum age to work (15). Condom use, they say, must be compulsory. It’s definitely a nice show of force, Democracy at its best, but a deceiving one as well. But customers seldom cover their penises with latex, and most prostitutes here started to work along with their first menstruation.

 

The brothel is an unlikely place for sex: a rundown concrete building where rats run free in rural Bangladesh. Small holes in the walls allow the only supply of natural light and air into the jail-like compound. Fluorescent bulbs hesitate to light up, and turn it into the ideal background for a horror blockbuster. Many boards show happy condoms trying to fight HIV with a broad smile, but the girls accept having sex without one if the customer insists. “There is no choice”, Lima says. And that’s why 70% of the girls are infected withsome kind of STD. 

 

Hasina served her first man when she was just 12. Like Lima and many others, rape was how she started. In the rigid Bengali society, shame cannot be washed. Stigma is forever. Now, she’s 40 and her price tag has fallen to a rock bottom 50 taka (70 cents.) per customer. That’s also the sum she has to pay, daily, for the rent of the bamboo hut where she works and lives.  "The situation is deteriorating. Prices for food and accommodation skyrocket, while people’s income remains stable. Those fishermen stopping by to have sex have less disposable money, and therefore we are living a crisis”.

Society has forced them to live in darkness; the lowest possible social statues. Men love them and hate them, demand their services while others tried to kill them. A contradiction which does not let them live.-Miguel Candela

Photo report's insight:

Miguel (Spain, 1985) specializes in the human drama of life – from the subtle to the extreme where humanity struggles to live off what is available, struggle against difficulties even the simple laughter brought by little to big things in life. He sees his works as an affirmation that "Every person has his or her individual unique history, every individual has an intriguing story to tell."

 

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Life for Rent | Photojournalist: GMB Akash

Life for Rent | Photojournalist: GMB Akash | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

"The two-to-three –thousand –square-meter area of Kandaportte Potitalow (Bangladesh) is home to 1500 prostitutes and their families. This place is all they know and it has its own micro infrastructure of grocery stores, teahouses,hairdressers, and doctors. The women themselves only know this other world through the men who come here; they know rickshaw pullers, truckers, businessmen, policemen and priests.

 

Most of the girls who work here were either born here, fled here, or were sold by their relatives when they were between eight and ten years old.

 

Inside, the man is the guest, but he pays for the hospitality. Sex without undressing and without further intimacy costs hundred takes (1USD = 70 Takas). For special services the price can go up to as high as three hundred takes, and the whole night will cost you five hundred.

 

Low social status and a lack of opportunities for both education and employment, have forced many Bangladeshi women into prostitution or exposed them to other forms of sexual exploitation. An estimated 150,000 women are involved in prostitution in Bangladesh."

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