Mishka Henner went online to find out where men sought prostitutes, and then he visited — on Google Street View. The result is No Man’s Land, a self-published book of photography, showing women, mostly alone and often scantily clad, in Spain, Italy, and Romania.
Henner writes, “No Man’s Land explores the margins of urban and rural environments in Europe as experienced by what appear to be women soliciting sex.” Sex blogger Violet Blue called the images “haunting” and “eerie,” comparing the imagery to Kubrick.
The blogger at Furry Girl had a different take on it: She found it exploitative, pointing out that there was no way to know for sure that these women were sex workers and that they hadn’t consented to this man profiting off their images. She’s encouraging her readers to write to the print-on-demand company, Blurb, and urge them “to cease production and hosting of No Man’s Land.”
Of course, they didn’t consent to being on Google Street View, either, but there they are, in the public domain, alone or in pairs, seated on white plastic chairs by the side of the road.
Assuming a woman out alone in public is a prostitute sounds like a Victorian conceit, but what about a woman walking down the highway in a bikini-like getup? (Click any image to enlarge)
On the other hand, a woman who looks like she’s consulting her phone in a residential area might just be pausing on a quiet day.
And is that a child in the background of this image, or just an associate far in the distance?
Whether or not you think they’re exploitative, it’s hard to deny these images are poignant and beautiful.
No Man’s Land [Blurb]