Published on November 11, 2013 | by Livvy Doherty

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Sex workers speak out

Sex Worker Film Festival [Livvy Doherty]

★★★★

Dalston’s Rio Cinema staged the second Sex Worker Film Festival on Sunday October 20.

The event was organised by the Sex Worker Open University (SWOU), a collective comprised of current and former sex workers. It consisted of six short films, two performances and a question-and-answer session with members of the sex workers’ collective.

Two of the films had been produced by and within SWOU, Pute En Lutte (Whores Fight Back) and The Honeybringer.

Each short film was incredibly powerful, moving, educational and often, funny.

Most notable was The Honeybringer, which documents the lives of sex workers in India, Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

Not only did it challenge the viewers’ own perception of who is a ‘sex worker’, but it brought to light issues faced in the sex industry by those who actually work in it.

As one of the sex workers in the film says: “No one asks sex workers what their problems are. They are victims, but only victims of the people who make the law.”

The event, whilst inspirational, was almost sad as there is so much information that needs to be shared that may only reach such a small number of people.

Whatever your views on sex workers, issues that should be of greater importance shone through.

A friend of mine who attended said: “As a woman, a black woman, a bi-sexual woman and a stripper, there are so many things here that are important for me. It was overwhelming.”

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