Whores of Yore

The wonderful Kate Lister of Whores of Yore invited to write an article on the photographing of dead sex workers. 

It is not possible to deconstruct the full complexities of sex worker imagery without including the images of murdered sex workers.  As distasteful as that sounds.  As difficult as it is to view some of the images, photos of murdered sex workers are integral to the politics of sex worker visual identity.   I questioned my photographic morality at times.  I question the morality of police who routinely release morgue photographs in a futile attempt at ending sex work through shaming of its participants.  Prohibitionists are not adverse to dragging out the occasional dead body shot to prop up their anti-sex work feminist rhetoric.   The French are very good at this.

You can read the full article here


Beyond the Gaze

I am a Peer Researcher with the Beyond the Gaze Study,  a study on the working practices, regulation and safety of Internet-based sex work in the UK.    I was invited to write a blog post about the prohibitionist visual war on sex and their false photographic consciousness

One thing that has struck me about trying to gain an academic understanding of the role photography plays in the online transaction of sex is how dismissive prohibitionists are of photography, and the role photography plays in encouraging the sense that the only way of interpreting their lives is to see them as ripe for ‘rescue.’    Prohibitionist photography acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The anti sex work lobby creates the visual rescue narrative that gives legitimacy to saving sex workers from themselves.

You can read the full article here


The Honest Courtesan

The publishing world is awash with photo essays that take a sneaky look inside brothels.   I wanted to avoid these visual clichés. Working with found images means constructing new narratives from seemingly unconnected photographs to provoke critical dialogue about sex work and present an alternative view of sex work.  It allows me to take the discussion of sex worker imagery from the realms of the sex work community and places it amongst the wider community.  Fundamental to this, is deconstructing the visual vocabulary of sex work imagery online to investigate the overarching questions 'is it possible to reclaim the word 'whore' through creative practice as research' and what role photography plays in contemporary online sexual consumption?   

You can read the full article here