Just thought I would write some words on the purpose of this blog and website.
I think its important for the sex worker community (where ever they may be) to be involved and have a sound understanding of where my thought process is at in terms of digital imagery and sex worker representation.
So here is why I blog:
1) To collect my thoughts.
I have all these images and ideas swirling around in my head, its difficult to keep track of them. Blogging helps to still my mind or else I am awake at 3 am looking at images. I can say without any doubt that if you want to change peoples perception of sex work and sex workers we need a pandemic shift in the representation of sex workers in digital imagery.
To say that this is the defining opportunity in my photography career would not be an understatement. I have achieved some awesome things in my photography career from magazine covers to awards to shooting weddings in exotic destinations across the globe. This is important to me. To effect social change by getting people to question photography is part of my soul. Its important. We need to drag peoples attention to how photography effects sex workers.
To be honest, some of the images I am stumbling across tap into a deep sense of objectification that make me question why I am a photographer (and possibly humanity) I need to make sure, to give the Masters and the idea behind Whoretography justice I need to really question the images.
Its important that I take time to consider where my reaction to them is coming from before I use them as part of the MA. One of the things I don't get to do as a wedding photographer is really question why and what message is that image sending. Many of the images are beautiful, rich in life and colour but its difficult to process the ones that smack of inherent bias and total lack of understanding and empathy.
2) Bring the research into the public sphere
At the start of this Masters it was agreed with my supervisor that the research should not be hidden away, its important that it becomes a part of the Whoretography story. Inspired by the Staging Disorder Exhibition that explores the contemporary representation of the real in relation to photography and making sure I do not add fiction to documentary photography that should be rooted firmly in reality.
Very much inspired by Ester Teichmann.
If you have read my previous posts, in particular the ones where I critique photographers methods you will understand my views on photographers who shoot sex workers from afar, like they are animals, some abstract part of society cloaked in depravity and taboos.
To be held up and paraded like the modern day version of a creepy surreal 1920s American freak show carnival. I do not want to be one of these photographers who fails to understands her subjects and upholds a discourse that frankly only exists in the heads of the anti sex worker set derived from the pages of photography books the depict one sex worker voice.
4) Meet the obligations of MA to document my progress.
I am required to keep a journal that charts my progress, I have just chosen to do this online and publicly. So far, it seems to be working.