Sex Workers Peer At The Universe Through A Telescope

Hunts Point prostitutes with telescope photo by Chris Arnade

Prostitutes, unless they’re the totally unrealistic Julia-Roberts-In-”Pretty-Woman” kind, are rarely given much cultural consideration outside of a very narrow scope. When you become a prostitute, it seems, you give up your personhood, often reduced to a two-dimensional stereotype that we all carry in our heads.

But sex workers are just like the rest of us — with hopes and dreams and curiosity about the world. Photographer Chris Arnade wanted to capture that, so he brought his telescope to the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, known for being a popular prostitution zone.

Arnade regularly shoots there, capturing the prostitutes, addicts and drug dealers that frequent the neighborhood, and wanted to share something from his own life with his subjects. Of the photographs he writes:

Takeesha was particularly excited, especially about the rings of Saturn. Honestly was not much different from anybody else who I have shown who is smart and curious. I found the reaction of the johns more interesting. They would slow down and just stare out their cars. Takeesha would shout at them, ‘Hey, you want your dick sucked or you want to look at Saturn?’ She has a great sense of humor that way.

Arnade says he hopes to bring his telescope to Hunts Point a couple of times a month, to share the universe with the rest of the neighborhood. “I have forgotten how wonderful it can be to show someone the rings of Saturn for the first time,” he said. So cool. [Gothamist]

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