Born into Brothels [Archives:2006/909/Community]

January 5 2006

Yumna Al-Ademi
What happens when you give a camera to a child stripped out of hope from becoming anything but a prostitute, a drug addict, or a thief? What happens when you tell this child the pictures she or he creates will have meaning and essence? Born into Brothels happens.

Usually it's a book review, but a few weeks ago I was touched by a tale through photography. Far from being a fairytale, Born into Brothels is a documentary about the children of prostitutes in the Red light district of Calcutta, India. Zana Briski, travels to this part of the world where children know more than they need to, and understand that to dream of hope is illogical. Zana's mission is simple: give the children a camera each and let them explore their world from a different angle, with the hope that this different perspective would drastically change their lives. But what was not anticipated was the brilliance these children possessed in articulating their lives through photography.

What makes this documentary unique is the creative delivery of kindness. This is not about people who pity the poor and thus shower them with money. This is about the merging of creativity and humanity, where children in need are empowered to dream and to hope in a most inspiring and wonderful way.

While the humane aspect of this documentary could interest everyone, this documentary will string the chords of those who appreciate photography and creative delivery.

To learn more about these children and their works visit :

* Yumna Al-Ademi is an editor for ShababYemeni. ShababYemeni is an initiative by a group of inspired Yemeni Youth made specifically for the Yemeni Youth. SY could be contacted at [email protected]