visualizing beauty and heartbreak

the girls and boys featured in born into brothels captivated me from the opening menu of the dvd. there is little doubt about the imagination, enthusiasm, and life that each child explores and exudes with their photographic journeys, sometimes to the chagrin and disdain of their families and surrounding communities. the power dynamics involved in taking someone's picture are complicated when the photographer is a child and the photographed is an adult; these dynamics are made further complex when the adult doesn't want to be documented in any way.

despite the moving stories and lives, i'm not sure how to respond to a dilemma that resonates with my work, as well: what happens when the project is completed? the filmmakers, zana briski and ross kauffman, have returned and done future photography workshop with increasing numbers of children living and growing up in calcutta. but the bigger question looms: what is the possibility of art to be a catalyst for social change? and from whom does art expect change?

i may return to this film for in a few posts - this images and stories will stay with me and will have to marinate for a while...

No comments: