Best New Talent 2012 Press /

Brothels

  • Photographer
    Miguel Candela
  • Profile Page

Radical islamists burned the brothel to the ground. Two were badly hurt. The rest were left with nothing. “We lost everything and had to jump onto the river ”, recalls Hasina. “We even didn’t have clothes to wear and we were forced to live for a month and a half out in in the wild”. Nobody was arrested for the attack. After countless demonstrations and after media interest was stirred, prostitutes have earned the right to fight for their rights. They don’t have to walk barefoot when they leave the brothel anymore, and their bodies can be buried in a cemetery, though still in a separate one. “Society uses us to fulfill their human needs, but treats us like animals”, criticizes Ahya Begum, 37, president of the Prostitute Association of Faridpur. The brothel is a rundown concrete building in rural Bangladesh overrun by rats. Tiny holes in the walls are the only source of natural light and air into the jail-like compound that feels more like some abandoned structure from a horror film than a place for sex. Society has forced them to live in darkness while men love them and hate them in equal measure, demanding their services while trying to get rid of them permanently. This is the intolerable contradiction that is their everyday lives.

Miguel Candela (Spain, 1985), specializing in the human drama of life, is restless in his intentions to satisfy his personal requirements in capturing still images, the colour and reactions of people, places & events. Shows the public in images, the diversity of humanity from their way of life, practices, homes, beliefs, traditions, relations, costumes, and reactions to issues or general situations of the time. To be a photographer helped him to perceive the world not as how it is but the way is lived, without boundaries to enable him to comprehend his surroundings, to respect other cultures and their ways of thinking. Photography opened him into news horizons and value our present as a historical event. He sees his works as an affirmation that "Every person has his or her individual unique history, every individual has an intriguing story to tell." Candela has travelled extensively and spent extended periods in various countries in order to photo-document the people and their community way of life in Mali, Kenya, the Philippines, Bangladesh and across China, and in his current base of operations in Hong Kong.