Tangail Brothel Photo Project
PORTRAITS FOR CHANGE
Help us change the lives of the hundreds of women trapped in the Tangail Brothel.....
As in many places around the world, brothels have existed in the country of Bangladesh for centuries. But here, it seems out of place for such an otherwise conservative and predominantly Muslim country. One of the most infamous is Tangail. It is home to hundreds of women caught in the sex trade. They have with little hope of escape for themselves or their children. Many entered the business while still teenagers or were born there. They have known no other life. To compound the situation, a legal sex trade is also known to increase the horrifying trade of selling young women into this business by organized crime, so many are the victims of human trafficking.
Most of the earnings of these women go to their “madams” or local law enforcement. At the same time, they are mostly illiterate, having received no schooling. A fate that also befalls their children, leaving them with no opportunity to escape this trap. To make matters worse, they also are shunned by local doctors and hospitals, so receive no medical care.
For the last five years, the US based medical charity Partners for World Health (PWH) have been visiting this brothel to provide primary health care services to people in an otherwise desperate situation. Despite a difficult start in gaining trust in this tight-knit community, which is governed by the criminal underworld, the years of dedication now mean PWH are welcomed back, thanks to the much-needed assistance that they provide.
Photographer David Wright has been documenting the work of PWH in other locations. The images he captures help spread the word about the plight of under served communities that are much less fortunate than our own, as well as helping PWH directly raise funds to continue the essential work they do. Many of the images on the PWH website were taken by David on previous trips.
David visited Tangail brothel in early 2019 with the PWH medical team and shot a series of portraits of the women and children within this community. The photographs celebrate the strength and resilience of these people, despite living in the worst of conditions. The portraits will become a photographic exhibition that will tour the US to help raise awareness about situations like this and to promote change.
Support: Partners for World Health by visiting their website
Images from David's previous trips with Partners for World Health to Senegal and Uganda