Uzbek legs, photo by Navin Weeraratne
My friend Navin Weeraratne is a master of the Facebook photo album as art form. This is his most recent work, a photo interview with an Uzbek prostitute, told through captions. I haven’t included all the photos, only two. It’s a great story, well told. Search for local prostitutes accounts for a large amount of Google traffic into this site, but it’s rare that anyone actually talks to one. Great work by Navin.
The following are his words, used by permission
Lisa has a Sri Lankan accent and speaks Singhalese almost fluently.
She trained as a dentist for 6 years. She would not say why it didn’t work out.
She showed me some pictures of billboards and ads of her in Russia – and then revealed she had created them using photoshop.
I honestly could not tell they were doctored images.
She has a six year old son living in Russia, “Mooska.” Mooska till recently was schooling in New Delhi where he learned to say “Ammi” instead of “Momma”, and loves his boxing lessons.
Lisa has a boyfriend in Negombo who wants to marry her, and pull her away from prostitution.
Unfortunately, he is too afraid to man up and tell his father he wants to marry a young mother. I told her that her boyfriend has no balls and explained to her the concept of the Mamma’s Boy. While she did not like me saying that he had no balls, she very much agreed that he lacked them.
I wanted to take pictures of her at Cleopatra, but we had to leave after another working girl there called her pimp and complained that Lisa was infringing on her turf.
She wanted beer, cigarettes, and facebook. The latter two were easy enough, but the beer had to come from the “black market”, as this was of course pretty late at night.
Lisa refused to say how many packs she smoked a day. I reminded her that Surgeon Generals frown on this sort of thing.
Her passport went missing after a client stole her purse one night at the Galadari, but she seemed to see this as an annoyance more than anything else.
Lisa was also unconcerned traveling about in a three wheeler at night. “This is Kollupitiya. All the police know me.”
She does not walk alone in the streets of Colombo. “You know what its like for women.”
I took her back home and got to work on her — with my camera.
Lisa posed for free.
She did offer me something else for free several times through the evening though, which I found quite flattering.
Lisa wants out of her current profession, and wants to be able to marry her boyfriend and give her a son a normal life, here in Sri Lanka.
Then in a comment he wrote
It’s starting to hit me now.
– went to dental school at 18.
– had kid at 20.
– finished dental school.
– decided she would become a hooker at the other end of the continent, to give her child a better future (father must have “shot through”).
This is a level of drive, strength, and self sacrifice, that I simply cannot understand. It is superhuman to me. It is scary.
Lisa’s not a hooker.
She’s a force of nature.