Free Brothel with Webcams
In her book Big Sister, photographer Hana Jakrlova explores an internet sex club in Prague where the clients get to have sex for free as long as they agree to let their exploits be filmed and broadcast live across the web.
“To me it seems like an extreme example of what is happening to all of us in this internet age,” says Jakrlova, who splits her time between Prague and New York. “There is an absurdity where some people have to have it online to have it become real or exciting.”
Beyond making her struggle with the notion of over-sharing, Jakrlova says the project also challenged her as a photographer and as a woman. While the johns always seemed to behave themselves, she says the acts that played out were hard to be around. Prostitution is legal in the Czech Republic, but that doesn’t make it any less exploitative, she says.
“I was battling certain feelings of guilt, sort of like a war photographer,” she says. “Are you a witness or are you going to be the one who throws away the camera and is going to help the person who is wounded.”
The book is titled after the name of the club, Big Sister ""), which closed in 2010. Most of the photos were taken between 2006 and 2007. Jakrlova says not all the interactions she witnessed at the club felt staged. There were moments of real affection between the clients and prostitutes, but the fact that those moments were broadcast online always qualified and relativized them, she says.