Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Woman + Sky, Rajasthan, India, 2007

The above woman sees much each day, she sees the younger girls being raised to become prostitutes, she watches the sons learning the trade of pimping, she sees the husbands making sure that the present cultural path is different than the past one, she sees their lives shaped by the trade of sex, nothing else. They belong to the Nat and Kanjar Communities. In front of each village, they sit in clear view of the men passing by in their cars, on their bicycles or perhaps even on their feet. They present themselves during all times of the day, with their faces painted and their expressions suited for the task at hand. The women also see something new, schools in their villages sponsored by the good people of Nirvanavan Foundation. The teachers come from other villages, giving their children exposure to strangers looking for something else from their villages, looking only to provide an education for their children in exchange for a decent, honest living. The women have lived the life of prostitutes, have been raised under the domination of the men, yet find within themselves the strength and courage to support the schools, to encourage their children to attend classes and to convince the men to allow all of this to occur in the middle of their villages. Perhaps they can find their way to their previous culture, to a time when they used to be the entertainers to everyone from royalty to everyday folks. Perhaps they can remember their past with dignity while looking for a future that has more in common with their past than with their present.

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