Kids With Cameras
05 Oct 2005–05 Nov 2005
In collaboration with Films From the South film festival, the photo exhibition Kids With Cameras was shown in the Entry Hall of the Nobel Peace Center. The photos were taken by children in Calcutta’s Red Light District. They were given cameras and asked to document their lives and surroundings.
The photo projects evolved from the documentary film Born Into Brothels that was shown as part of the Films from the South festival. It describes the American photographer Zana Briski’s encounter with a group of children born by prostitutes in the bordello streets of Calcutta, India. Zana develops a strong bond with these children, and equip them with cameras. This opens up a new world to them, they depict their own reality and a hope of a better future is ignited.
– When mom is working, we pull shut the bedroom curtain and us children go up to the roof to play, says one of the children in the movie.
Zana Briski went to Calcutta in 1998 to photograph the prostitutes and let them tell their stories. To gain trust, she desided to move in with a group of women. This lead to them trusting her, and she gradually started to teach them photography. Soon she realised that the children were the ones most fascinated by her work. That it really were they who wanted to learn.
In the bordello streets of Calcutta, more than 7000 prostitutes live and work. The women are forced into sex work at an early age, and even though they come from different social backgrounds, they all are subject to oppression and labled outcast. These women are at the bottom of society, without the right to governmental protection. The only ones lower than these women, are their children.
Scenographer: Marte Moen Danielsen
Watch the Oscar winning documentary Born Into Brothels by Zana Briski here: