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Program Information
Radio Curious
Weekly Program
Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman & Barry Vogel, Esq.
 Radio Curious - Barry Vogel  Contact Contributor
Feb. 15, 2024, midnight
Originally Broadcast: March 15, 2007

Born Into Brothels

“Born into Brothels” received the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2005. A tribute to the resiliency of childhood and the restorative power of art, “Born into Brothels” is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in the red light district of Calcutta, where their mothers work as prostitutes. The most stigmatized people in Calcutta’s red light district however are not the prostitutes, but their children. In the face of abject poverty, abuse, and despair, these kids have little possibility of escaping their mother’s fate or for creating another type of life. In “Born into Brothels,” directors Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman chronicle the amazing transformation of the children they come to know in the red light district. Briski, a professional photographer, gives them lessons and cameras, igniting latent sparks of artistic genius that reside in these children who live in the most sordid and seemingly hopeless world. The photographs taken by the children are not merely examples of remarkable observation and talent; they reflect something much larger, morally encouraging, and even politically volatile: art as an immensely liberating and empowering force. Devoid of sentimentality, “Born into Brothels” defies the typical tear-stained tourist snapshot of the global underbelly. Briski spends years with these kids and becomes part of their lives. Their photographs are prisms into their souls, rather than anthropological curiosities or primitive imagery, and a true testimony of the power of the indelible creative spirit. You can learn about this film and Kids with Cameras at www.kids-with-cameras.org. I spoke with Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman in February 2005. Beginning the conversation first with Zana Briski, I asked her to explain what drew her to India before the concept of “Kids With Cameras” was even a dream.

www.kids-with-cameras.org

Zana Briski recommends “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd.


Barry Vogel, Esq. is the host and producer.
Ignacio Ayala is the assistant producer.
As Radio Curious begins the 33d year of weekly broadcast, we're proud to be a part of the Library of Congress Audio Division. Our interviews cover a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Currently all of our half-hour, long-form interviews are from the Radio Curious archives. The website is www.radiocurious.org.

We ask that you please let us know if your station airs Radio Curious. If listen on line, please let us know your source. We would like to add you to our list of syndicate stations.
Being curious as we are, we do welcome questions, feedback and program ideas.

Thank you for listening.
Barry Vogel, Host and Producer

Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman – "Brothels of Calcutta, India" Download Program Podcast
00:29:00 1 March 15, 2007
Ukiah, California
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