Almost ten years ago, I was introduced to a young struggling photographer, Zana Briski, who had lived in and photographed the life of a brothel in Kolkata, India, getting to know the sex workers and their children, Untouchables, over an extended period of time.


Zana soon forged a relationship with the children, bought inexpensive cameras and started teaching them how to capture their world through the eyes of a lens, eventually winning an international competition for their images. Zana also started to enroll her small group in sympathetic local schools, all on her long suffering credit card. 


During our meeting, she needed to raise money for the children as well as for her ultimate goal to make her film : Born into Brothels. Thanks to grants and individual donors, both goals were achieved against all odds.  Born Into Brothels was made and won an Academy Award. The children are now part of a Kolkata based charity KIDS WITH DESTINY dedicated to serving underprivileged children in India and assisting their mothers, who wish to enter a new life. 


In July 2005, Avijit one of the older boys , won a High School Scholarship to one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the US. And in the Fall of 2012 Avijit graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is looking for a job ( see below).


We here at photokunst thrive on these stories. This is what drives us and so many documentary photographers and film makers: highlighting the unjust conditions we see and making a difference.

Barbara Cox 



We are proud to announce that Avijit has graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has completed summer school!Avi is living in New York and is eager to work in photography and film. He says, “My dream job would be to assist a cinematographer or photographer on set indoors or outdoors.”He has experience as a camera operator (RED scarlet/ Epic, Canon 5D Mark II/III, Sony F65 F3 FS100, Nikon D700, Arri SR2/SR3) and as a gaffer and grip with both continuous and studio lights. He also has editing experience on Final Cut Pro, Avid and After Effects and retouching on CS5/CS6. If you have a dream job for Avi please contact him 

To find out more about Zana’s latest project REVERENCE please visitwww.reverence.orgSign up for our mailing list to receive updates!



5 Responses to Update from Kids with Cameras

  1. Tiana says:

    I hope all these kids(now adults) re doing well!
    I viewed ‘Born into Brothels’ and fell in love w/ kids with cameras. So happy to heqr Avijit graduated from NYU. I hope they all become great adults and are able to go back and help a young group of kids find their way out of the red light district.

  2. Emily says:

    I recently watched Born into Brothels. Good on you Avijit! Proud of you. Keep pushing to get your dream job. NEVER GIVE UP, GIVING UP IS NOT AN OPTION! Love Emily from Australia.

  3. laura thomas says:

    Amazing amazing that your dreams are all coming true. Make it your goal to help others just like you and help them escape such depravity.
    This is your journey. 🙂
    Good luck my friend.
    Laura Thomas xxx

  4. Priya Asnani says:

    i was very touched watching the movie “Born into Brothels” it made me curious to search the net on the background of this documentary. whether the children filmed were real or actors. this will stay with me for a long time to come. i wish i could do some good for them. not just to donate money but to give of our time and efforts. much love for the kids. and kudos to Zana and her supporters

  5. Janet Black says:

    Just watched the film and am still a bit on shock and processing it all. The children are amazing, so bright and full of life despite their unfortunate situation. I feel lucky to have seen this and I want my son to see it too. It’s so important to know how other people exist and struggle to survive. Well done Avijit for working hard and persevering. Wishing you love and light from Canada.

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