The Night / LA NOCHE

In day as in the night

I have always thought these women were raw and exposed. I used to run into many of them on my way to college when I got off the train in Constitución, every morning, from 2014 up until last year. The nakedness of their bodies and souls showcased before my eyes, before anyone’s eyes.

In a seventh-block strip of road, between 9 and 10 in the morning, they were standing dressed in shiny clothes and faces smeared with make-up. It seemed like they belonged to another time.

I do not know whether that was what made me feel ashamed when I looked at them. As if I had to apologize for looking because when I looked at them, I could see more than the contours of their bodies.

As time went by, I started to look closer at some of them and we would kind of say hello to each other. I realized then that the ones with laughter in their faces were the transvestites.

The women were just a few, at that time in the morning. Most of them were petite women with a serious look on their faces, almost frowning and did not wear very becoming clothes. I began trying to recognize these women. I remember one woman dressed in jeans, a black T-shirt and denim jacket, who was clinging to her purse. The only thing that drew attention to her was her shocking red lipstick and the fact she was standing on the corner. She was just standing and waiting, she was not provocative. Waiting on the corner of those streets in Constitución together with the redness of her lips, left no room for doubt.

The photographs taken by Carolina Furque intensely speak about women who engage in prostitution. Those women living by night even if it is daylight; women whose occupation is considered the oldest trade in the world. The Hammurabi Code written 4,000 years ago already mentioned the inheritance rights for prostitutes and in the Bible there are passages about Mary Magdalene that seem to talk about them.

Carolina’s photographs have a universal flavor. She has travelled so many kilometers and been to many destinations around the world while imperceptibly taking pictures with her camera. She could have taken these photographs in any of the cities she has visited.

On any night which starts in the same way for all of them, a woman exposes her body, her health and her soul in exchange for some money.

In recent years, the night has become dangerous for all women when we don’t reach our destination. However, these women have always run and still run the risk every single minute. Their dignity dies with them since their first encounter with a client and at each moment.

Patricia Rojas – 2019

The Night is a self-published book available for purchase from Head On online bookshop / La Noche es una edición de autor y esta a la venta en la librería online de Head On :