It was another 5am start this morning. Stella, the fixer I’m working with
on this story and I drove across town to meet Diana. After calling many
times to find her (including directions that consisted of ‘look for the
mango tree’), a figure approached the car. After introductions, we sat down
in the small restaurant Diana co-started and talked about her life as a
single mother and sex worker. A few hours later she offered to show us the
brothel where she works.
As a photojournalist, one of the biggest challenges is finding a subject
who gets it – that is, they are open to the story process and are
comfortable in front of the camera, especially on stories that probe into
sensitive topics. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it just doesn’t. When
it does work out, I come away incredibly grateful to those who allow me
into their world to document their stories.
Photo 1: Diana fills up jugs of water near the restaurant. Six women run
the restaurant, 5 of whom are sex workers. They hired the 6th woman because
many of them are tired in the morning and prefer not to work early.
Photo 2: Posters hang inside the restaurant. Diana says that while there
are issues with ‘community acceptance,’ most people are OK with the
restaurant and know that it is run by sex workers.