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Quadrantaria in Ticino - Southern Switzerland

This series is part of a larger project on the sensitive illegal prostitution issue in the canton Ticino. Attracted by the opportunity to earn quickly big amounts of money, many foreign "sex workers" come here with the hope to build a better future. The dream of owning a private beach, bar or restaurant once returned in the homeland is  often the result of a false imagination of a rich and easy Switzerland. This illusion disappears within few weeks revealing stories of exploitation and suffering. Extremely high rental costs, the lack of a work permit and continuous raids of the cantonal police are the cause of anxieties, sad isolation and loneliness.

The project started in 2008 in a 20 km border area, which start in Chiasso and extends up to Lugano. Pushed by philanthropic motivations, I wanted to show the most locally discussed problem through a direct journalistic look, to show what really lurks behind that kind of work. I decided to go behind the cold reports given by the police prostitution section "teseu", and give a major contribute to the local newspapers and magazines by offering an insider interpretation of the ticinese reality.


© Jacek Pulawski