Magazine article Geographical

Life on the Edge

Magazine article Geographical

Life on the Edge

Article excerpt

In 2005, Nick Danziger documented the lives of women and children in developing countries targeted by the UN's Millennium Development Goals. He returned in 2010 and 2015 to assemble an extraordinary, stark portrait of our 21st century family of man

PREVIOUS SPREAD: Aisha, 13, Niger. Underage marriages are not allowed in Niger, but Aisha's father needed the money. Today, recently married Aisha is not allowed to go to school because--in her husband's words--'I want a girl who is not wise and does not know the ways of the world so I can control her and so that she will not be influenced by all the bad and debauchery in the world'; ABOVE: Ayaaz, 20, and Aftab, 15, India. In 2004, Ayaaz's father developed a fever and chronic cough. He was admitted to a TB hospital where he developed mouth ulcers so severe he could not eat. He died a few days later. At the time, Ayaz's mother didn't know that he had AIDS. Both she and Ayaaz's six-year-old brother Aftab tested HIV+. Ayaaz eventually dropped out of school to help support his family by working for his uncle. The family had to abandon Aftab who was desperately undernourished and ill. More recently, Ayaaz and his mother make an annual four-hour bus journey to visit him at an orphanage

ABOVE: Mohan, 50, and Ajid Kumar, 21, India. Mohan was a daily wage labourer and his son Ajid Kumar ran errands for a tea shop. When, in 2004, his wife, Selvi, contracted HIV/AIDS from Mohan, she could no longer work as a flower seller. With no other means of making a living, Selvi rented out their roadside hovel. In the last months of her life, the family slept in the open, going 'home' only to cook their daily meal. In 2006, Selvi died on the street with her son and daughter, Kousalya beside her. Mohan said, 'Now do I feed myself or the children?' Mohan's antiretroviral treatment suppressed the HIV virus only when taken with food. Today, Mohan shares the same hovel with Lakshmi, a widow, along with Ajid and his son's pregnant wife Yashoda, pictured above sitting between them. 'I don't have dreams any more,' Mohan stated without bitterness. 'My only hope is that my children will be happy, and that one day Kousalya will also marry.' Kousalya, now 17, works as a nanny 100 miles away in Pondicherry

ABOVE: Sex workers, Zambia. There were few jobs in rural Zambia, apart from in busy border towns. Many unemployed women were drawn to them and into prostitution. Some even became 'take aways', a term for girls who agreed to be a driver's temporary travelling companion. Often they are dumped half way across the country with no means of returning home other than by offering sex again. In five years, little changed for most women in this border town. Thanks to NGOs, a few young women received vocational training but that funding dried up with the global economic downturn. To make matters worse, local sex workers had to compete with refugees who sold themselves for half the local prices. Most of the women are only drawn into prostitution by desperate financial need, but there are exceptions. Mavis, on the right in the main picture, owns a restaurant in a nearby city. She came to the border town for the weekend with the intention of raising enough money to buy a new oven

ABOVE: Cristabel the 'Queen Mother', Zambia. Chirundi is a dust-blown border post on the Harare-Lusaka highway. At any one time as many as 300 articulated lorries are parked along its 'truck corridor', their drivers hungry for sex. …

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