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Solo Exhibition

From September 01, 2023 to September 30, 2023

Bangla Road, Life After Dark

Tebani Slade

© Tebani Slade, winner of September 2023 Solo Exhibition

Artist Statement


Bangla Road on the island of Phuket in Thailand is a place of two worlds. During the day it is like any other street but after sunset, this 400-meter stretch of road transforms into a lively almost forbidden world.

By day, this road in Phuket is just another spot for tourists. While most visitors spend their time relaxing on the beach or by the pool, this street transforms at night into a hub of Go Go bars, live music, and nightclubs unlike any other, and with that, comes the association with sex tourism and prostitution. And Bangla Road is the centre of this. It is considered the Red Light district of Phuket.

Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand, it remains a prevalent practice due to economic dependence dating back to the Vietnam War. Poverty, low education levels, and a lack of job opportunities in rural areas contribute to this.

So unfortunately, some women are compelled to earn a living by working in the streets or bars. They often wear revealing clothing to exploit every inch of their bodies from their feet to their fingernails. Many even go to the extent of having plastic surgery to enhance their looks to be more appealing to their customers.

There are some who will be standing outside the bars with a large grin, trying to persuade you to enter. Some locations are simply bars that feature dancers, while others are more discreet, operating behind closed doors for the more exotic shows.

Initially, you might feel uneasy or offended, but as you continue to spend time there, you begin to understand that this is their typical way of life. They are doing what is necessary to survive. They are self-assured and confident, and take pride in their identity and work.

Despite the fact that some people would shun this type of place, I found it gave me a feeling of resilience and strength. It’s almost like their confidence had a contagious effect on me.

Curator: Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Bangla Road, Life After Dark


Tebani Slade is a fine art, street and documentary photographer based between Australia and Barcelona. Her approach to photography involves storytelling and seeking the truth in her observations.

She prefers to venture to unfamiliar destinations with an open mind, devoid of preconceived notions or generic perspectives. Armed only with her camera, Tebani allows events to unfold naturally, following the path that each location leads her on.

A former graduate of the Queensland College of Art, Australia she also holds a Master of Distinction with the NZIPP (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography). She has received recognition and awards for her photography, which has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work has been showcased in group exhibitions such as Women Street Photographers in Kuala Lumpur and the Indian Photo Festival, as well as the Women Street Photographers annual exhibition in New York and the MIA Photo Fair in Milan.

She was a finalist in the Australian Head On Photo Awards 2021 and 2022 and took first place in the 2022 Australian Mono Awards. In 2023 she was a finalist in the Mullins Conceptual Photography Prize and was awarded Australian Documentary Photography of the Year with the NZIPP.

Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Australian Photography Magazine, Aust Capture Magazine, Aust Commercial Photography, Black & White Photography (UK edition), B&W (US edition), Nikon UK, The Guardian Australia, Loud  & Luminous Book 2020 (a Celebration of Australian Women Photographers).