On the right is a powerful photo story of a 16 year old village prostitute, Ah-V, who eloped with her boyfriend Xiaowu from Guizhou to an unnamed province, and to make ends meet, Xiaowu makes Ah-V prostitute herself. Along the way, of course, Ah-V gets pregnant, and has to go for an abortion, but she is so poor that the only thing worth money in her possessions is a broken fan which she got from a rag-and-bone dealer for RMB10. As a result, because she couldn’t pay for her hospital bed, they put her on drip by the door of her home.
The photo story continues to offer intimate glimpses and other snapshots of Ah-V’s life – her love for her cat, her relationship with Xiaowu, old men lurking around her because they could not afford to pay her, other women of the street, their brief moments of happiness when they meet a cute client, etc. One powerful shot has Ah-V allowing another prostitute Ah-Lan to examine her to see if she has contracted some sexually transmitted disease.
The video clip has been viewed 164,412 times within a day of its release and attracted 730 comments. There is a part of us that really want to believe this story but for now there are many questions in our mind:
1. For how long was the photographer with Ah-V?
2. What was his/her relationship with Ah-V?
3. How did he/she get so far into Ah-V’s private life to get such intimate shots?
4. Could the pictures have been stolen from someone’s private collection and the words added to them by some raconteur extraordinaire?