WARNING: SEXUAL CONTENT
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
By Pilar Olivares
As I went chasing after “ladies of the night” (who sometimes work in the daytime too) I discovered that some of them are proud to be sex workers, almost too proud to be bothered by someone like me – a photographer looking for a good story.
I was on an assignment to take pictures of a group of prostitutes who are taking English classes once a week in preparation for the World Cup. They hope these lessons will help them communicate better with soccer fans who might use their services when they come to Brazil.
Of all my subjects, the most elusive character to photograph was Cida Vieira, the president of the Association of Prostitutes of Minas Gerais (APROSMIG), based in the southeastern Brazilian state whose capital is Belo Horizonte.
Before our first meeting I spent a whole day at the APROSMIG office just waiting for her to appear. While I was there, I saw quite a bit of activity in the small room they rent as office space, but it was mostly from women looking for condoms. They would enter, open their plastic bags, and the secretary would drop in a fistful of the little packets.
Some of the women would walk out without muttering a word after signing a paper for what they received. Others, however, would stay a while to tell anecdotes, laughing and describing the sexual fantasies of their clients in some detail.