The other side of prostitution

4742446607_0a6bdee315_oThe very first time I had to deal with a ‘belle de jour’ was several years ago when the Bunga-Bunga scandal broke out and we were trying to find girls that offered their services to former PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Though job, but somebody had to do it.

During the past year I came across, quite randomly, several ‘pretty women’ that lived in my neighbourhood, I discovered that there was a brothel right down the street where I lived and met people who shared a flat with gigolos – and were warmly invited to clear the flat on weekends due to planned orgies.

The underworld of prostitution is complex – many women are subjugated and forcibly dragged into selling their bodies for money; minors are thrown on the streets every day and human traffic still represents a stigma for first world countries.

For this piece I adopted another approach. I wanted to hear stories from suburbia prostitutes that independently decided to go into this peculiar business: immigrants that try to cope with London’s high living standards, webcam girls in search for easy money, full-time accountants and part-time cross dressers and male prostitutes who take their job very seriously.

No judgment, of course, just a glimpse in a line of business we think we know but we actually don’t.

When school kills – an original investigation for Contributoria

reza talebzadeh IIEarlier in July, I met a good friend of mine and a well-known Iranian artist and photographer – Reza Talebzadeh.

Among other things and his ongoing projects, we discussed a rather tragic issue that involves school children dying in rural Iran. What happens is that many schools across the country are heated by oil stoves and it’s not unusual that these old heating systems cause sudden explosions.

Schools become time bombs and the number of casualties among children and staff increases every year due to poor emergency training and Fire Brigades located too far away to promptly intervene in case of fire.

Reza realized an exhibition with fellow artists to raise awareness on this massacre of the innocents but there’s still a lot to do to prevent these deaths.

I’m currently working with Alireza on this story for Contributoria and if you’re interested and you too would like the world to know about this ongoing tragedy, please support – it’s free and by February you’ll be able to read what we have found out.