The girl with a pearl earring

In Istanbul, few female recovery workers operate in the streets. This young Turkish Roma woman is sorting plastic waste, together with other women from her community, in one of the large depots of the Suleymaniye district. She explained that she preferred sorting to reclaiming, which she regarded as dirtier, and that she preferred to work in the safe space of the depot rather than in the street. In spite of their difficult working conditions, these women gave us a warm welcome. After a long interview, they had fun posing for the photographer and showed a visible sense of pride. This young woman chose this pose herself. In retrospect, we found it reminiscent of J. Vermeer’s famous painting, “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” (1665).

View full screen