Dirty Money – Why should we decriminalise sex work?
Sex work is an umbrella term that encompasses many different forms of sexual labour. The demand for sex work has grown during the pandemic as a result of isolation, and the loss of human contact and relationships.
With this project I explore "Misogyny", "Whorephobia", and exploitation within the industry; how the sex work industry and human trafficking are seen as the same, and how, moving forward, can sex work be legalised as long as its associated with human trafficking and stigma. Through my own experiences as an online sex worker throughout the pandemic, I created three outcomes within my research question.
Outcome 1: This video piece highlights how shock culture, experimentation, exploitation and youth delinquency are prevalent in the transition between the solitary confinement of the pandemic and an industry that is based on human contact. This work is a video cocktail of found and self shot footage. Racy and ecstatic videos are shown over pulsing audio, accompanied by spoken word. Substance abuse, addiction and self destructiveness are the main themes of this piece.
Outcome 2: 'Dirty Money' is the title of this booklet piece. It is an autobiographical piece on my experience with the online sex work community. It contains raw and controversial photographs along with stories, illustrations and conversations between clients and myself.
Outcome 3: For my final outcome I wanted to use a skill that I've developed over the pandemic that brought me joy and distraction from how tough the lockdown was. I thought it would be a personal touch to combine this to my topic to create an illustrative tufted piece that pays homage to the sex work industry. The piece is titled 'Sweeping it Under the Rug'.