19 July 2017, The Tablet
From sewer to salon
Bogotá, the 1920s. Emma Reyes is four and lives in a windowless room with her sister Helena, a little boy and an unknown woman with long black hair. Her first task of the day is to carry a heavy chamber pot, overflowing and foul-smelling, to a garbage heap. After this she plays nearby in the mud with other street children. On Sundays, the long-haired woman locks her in the dark room, with only a sliver of light coming from the keyhole.