Between the capital's central station and the circus, there are places where a "sexual contract" is made and a body is traded for cash.
Commercial sex is not legal in Georgia but has become widespread, according to a 2014 study by the international foundation Curatsio and the Tanadgoma Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health.
In Georgia, commercial sex work – otherwise known as prostitution – is closely linked to the poverty and general unrest in the 1990s and early 2000s. While it provides women with a way to support themselves, sex work is the subject of stigma and discrimination.
"The body I Live In" is the story of ten women in the capital, Tbilisi. I began documenting their lives when I was researching prostitution in Georgia for a German study. Most of the women I met don't live with their families due to abusive husbands. Some of them are still unable to escape the cycle of abuse out of fear they will lose their homes. They go out late at night and start walking the streets, looking for clients. They say this work is still unstable and risky. They continually face the threat of violence, as well as mental health problems that include the fear of rejection and insecurity.
Curatio and Tanadgoma's 2017 study of 300 commercial sex workers
found that 21 percent of the women had been victims of violence at least once. The women who participated in the study spoke about the health risk although few were informed about of HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases – in part because they are discriminated against by doctors.
The problems these women face are rarely discussed in the media.
But they do everything they can to hold on, to live a normal life during the day. They make food, clean their homes, care for their children, go to church and pray…here are their stories: