Bangladesh is one of the few Muslim countries where prostitution is legal. The Kandapara brothel in the district of Tangail is the oldest and one of the largest in the country - it has existed for some 200 years. Here live and work more than 700 sex workers with their children and their madams. The brothel district is surrounded by a two-meter wall. In the narrow streets, there are food stalls, tea shops and street vendors. Many of the women were born in the brothel, are sold by family members or have fled their husbands and secure in this way their livelihood. Officially, they must be 18 years old, but most of them are underage. Although prostitution is legal in Bangladesh since 2000, these women are socially stigmatized outside their "homes" and thus often choose to stay and continue supporting their families with their earnings.
Sandra Hoyn lives as a freelance photojournalist in Hamburg, Germany. She studied photography at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, graduating in 2005. She started working for magazines, NGOs and on her personal photo projects, concentrating on social, environmental and human rights issues. She worked in various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. Her work has been published in Die Zeit, Zeit Campus, Chrismon, Der Spiegel, stern, Missio Magazin, NEON, GEO, GEOlino, and The New York Times Lens Blog, among others. Since 2007 she has been represented by laif, agency for photos and reports. In 2015, she received World Press 3rd prize, category nature singles. In 2014, she was selected by LensCulture as one of the Top 50 Emerging Talents. In 2013, she received the Henri Nannen Award. In 2012 she got second place at IPA - International Photography Awards in the category Professional editorial sports. That year she was also awarded three silver medals by the Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Px3) for her features. In 2011 and 2007, she received scholarships from VG Bild-Kunst. In 2009, she received the Media Award by Kindernothilfe. More info: www.sandrahoyn.de