Human Negotiations is a book by photographer Katharina Hesse and writer Lara Day exploring the lives of a community of Bangkok sex workers through images and text.
Divided into nine chapters, the book comprises documentary photographs and fictional vignettes based on personal interviews. Leaving aside stereotypes of exploited, downtrodden Third World females coerced into a profession in which they are passive victims, the book reveals a more nuanced, open-ended world where women take center stage, and where reality's complexities leave room for wider interpretations.
Human Negotiations focuses on subjects who have not been coerced into their jobs, but who choose to work in the sex industry as a means towards a better life: a mother supporting a child, a ladyboy saving up for cosmetic surgery, a woman from the countryside, a student living the lifestyle to enable her own freedom and independence.
"With this very handsome publication and Katharina Hesse's tale of prostitution brought alive by writer Lara Day, this is an excellent first book." Martin Parr
"This project, and the beautiful new book that represents it, takes a novel approach to a subject as old as time. The photographs are intimate, colorful and powerfully sensual and empathetic. The words are profound and allow for the voices of their subjects. This book is a great example of documentary work that takes you into the lives and thoughts of the subjects and reveals a world few get to witness." Ed Kashi, VII Photo
"What Hesse and Day present in Human Negotiations is a unique and highly personal look at a facet of the sex industry rarely documented before, challenging the perception of women and sex. It is both emotionally powerful and poignant, with its visual rhythm reflecting the lives the women live and the city which forms the backdrop to this story. But it does not seek to answer all the questions raised: instead, Hesse and Day present a stepping off point from which a larger dialogue may begin." Wayne Ford