Project Exposure Blog

The simple act of washing clothes

Washing clothes

For most of us the act of washing clothes is a pretty easy task given the machines we have that do nearly all the work for us. But for many people in the Cuchumuela district of Bolivia that simple act is a time consuming burden where access to water for washing clothes usually means walking long distances to a nearby stream or hauling jugs weighing up to 40 pounds back to your home.

That was the scenario before my client, Water for People, and their local governmental and NGO partners worked together to create a sustainable solution to this issue. While the solution may not be what we would consider significant progress given our way of life, it’s a huge time saver for these people who don’t have the same level of lifestyle we have, yet.

As a photographer/filmmaker my challenge was to convey the improvement that this system provides to the life of this woman. I’ll have to be honest, at first she was a little hesitant when she saw the cameras. But with some reassurance that we were there to portray her with dignity rather than pity, she quickly agreed to allow us to work while she went about her chores. What we ended up with, went beyond our expectations and proves that in the right hands, a camera can be a powerful tool.

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