Keeping housemaids at a ‘close distance’

Fascinating.

CNN Photos

The two women sit in close proximity, but they remain worlds apart.

It’s a reflection of life in urban Bangladesh, where domestic maids are commonly employed but often hidden from view.

For her illuminating series, “Close Distance,” photographer Jannatul Mawa took portraits of maids and the women who employ them in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

With the simple act of putting the women side by side on the same couch, Mawa disrupted social rules. She found that sometimes, the maid would choose to sit on the floor rather than sit on the same couch as her employer.

“Every day, maidservants take care of the bed and sofa with their hands, but they are neither allowed to sit nor to sleep on them once,” Mawa said. “With their domestic roles, they are close to the middle-class women and distant at the same time.”

Mawa chose maids as a documentary subject after she…

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