‘Downtown Divas’ is a NSFW look into the Eyes of Drug Addiction World Wide

on Thursday, 11 December 2014. Posted in Breaking News

There are few things as unglamorous and unfashionable as the realities of heroin addiction. Heroin addiction is a deadly disease that takes a severe toll on a person's body and leads to long term, potentially deadly side effects that can destroy a person inside and out.

While the degree to which heroin is a deadly and addictive drug has been well known for some time, the image of a glamorous heroin junkie seems to persist among popular culture. In Downtown Divas, two artists, Loral Amir and Gigi Ben Artzi have strived to dispel this illusion of a seemingly glitzy life as a heroin addict.

The artists have taken a series of striking and disturbing photos of heroin addicts who are also Russian prostitutes in very expensive designer clothes, and the results are thought provoking and gut wrenching.

Images Evoke Slim Figure Frequently Associated With Super Models
In this NSFW series of photos, Amir and Artzi recall the postures and body types that are so commonly associated with high fashion (and which could perhaps be part of the reason that "heroin chic" is so prevalent. The thin woman have visible cuts, scars, and bruising, and their facial expressions are nothing short of haunted.

The dichotomy between the sullen faces of the women, who seem to desolate and removed from reality, and the idealized faces of the fashion models, whose phantom figures are now playing out by way of the women. The contrast provides an immediate metaphor about how the idea of chic drug culture is a total myth.

Women Are Sex Workers
In order to create these stunning photos, Amir and Artzi had to scour the streets of Russia. They came across these women under an undisclosed bridge, whose name has been kept unknown out of regard for the safety of the women.

The women were being controlled by their pimps, who were forcing them into sex work. The photographers recalled that it took some time to earn the trust of the women, who are all under the strong influence of heroin's grasp.

Once they did earn the trust of a few women, however, photographing them was difficult, as they tended to go back and forth through consciousness and were often not coherent or aware of their surroundings.

Downtown DIvas is a Series of Photos as Well as a Film
The edgy and striking Downtown Divas series is not intended to be viewed in piece meal, but is rather a larger body of work that is comprised of still photos and a short video. In the video, the artists ask the women about themselves and their lives and in so doing create a starkly realistic picture about the nature of both drug addiction and sex trafficking.

For many women, sex trafficking and addiction go hand in hand as many of the people who are kidnapped and trafficked at a young age lead lives full of terror and sadness and may turn to drugs for an escape, only to be reeled into the ugly cycle of addiction.

Addiction is Hard to Watch
The realities of drug abuse may be glossed over from time to time, but any person who has lived in close proximity to a person who is struggling with addiction of any kind knows that addiction is a devastating and messy disease that is full of majorly draining emotional events.

Watching a person succumb to the disease of addiction is devastating and any person who thinks they have a problem with drugs or alcohol should seek help immediately. Getting help for a drug addiction is the only way that an addict ca hope to get better.

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