Sunday, 1 February 2015

Responding to Born Into Brothels

Dear Diane,

Well you beat me to watching my own pick of film, but I got there in the end! Dennis refused to watch this with me saying a tale of children living in an Indian Red Light District would make him sad, cameras or no cameras. And he was right.

The very end made me sad, but it was not actually the fact of where the children had been living that made me feel that way. I mean no one wants to see children in a bad environment but maybe as a child protection lawyer I am a bit inured to that now. What made me weep a little at the end was the fact that some of the parents did not want their children to leave for better things. Of course, if you love your child it must be hard to let them go away to school. I understand that. But all the same it was sad to know that some children had a chance for better and those adults who should want the world for them chose to deny it to them.


Aside from that, thought, I found it quite an uplifting programme. I loved how the children found interesting things to take photographs of everywhere they went. They clearly took on board the tuition about composition and the like but they seemed primarily to take photos out of joy and curiosity and to bear witness. I can think of no better reasons.

By Gour
By Suchitra


The children were also so wise and thoughtful about their work. I paused the film to note what one child who had taken a picture of unwashed dishes and junk on the floor said about his work:
I take photographs to show how people live in this city. People live in chaos. In the village people may have a mud house but they are happy. Nobody lives as filthily as we do in our country. Wherever there are dirty plates we find shoes next to them. In no other country have I seen this. That is why I like photography. I want to put across the behaviour of man.

Also, it was amazing what a good eye the children had for composition. Or, maybe its only amazing because we as adults have made composition a thing of conferences and tuition DVDs when in fact its a matter of looking and seeing what looks good. You actually chose the same photo to illustrate your post as I again paused the video to look at for a good long time.
By Suchitra

This is a fabulous photo, taken against washing on a brothel roof with a basic camera by a child who was being nagged by a friend to take her picture. I love the strip of detail down the right hand side an the pastel colours and how the negative space on the left balances the business of the rest of the picture.

Did it involve a drone and a mega-pixel camera? No. Did it require a degree and a high tech lighting rig? No. It didn't even involve the use of a cheap portable reflector and a changeable lens. It required the love of photography and a willingness to find a place to place the friend and the effort to have the camera to hand and put it to her eye. There is so much we can from these kids.
I wanted to look at their images more so I ordered a copy of their book. You can find it here in the UK and here in the US.
So, now I am looking forward to watching the Ansel Adams film which should be totally different!
Until Next time,
Helen.



1 comment:

Diane Perin Hock said...

I was really struck by how matter of fac the kids -- especially the girls -- were about their likely futures working "in the line." And yes, it was shocking to see the fear and suspicion the parents had about having the children leave for better opportunities. I was also taken aback at the reminders of India' caste system and how many schools would not even consider taking any of the children because they'd been born to a prostitute. (Didn't it seem miraculous when none turned out to be HIV positive?).