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Sex Workers' rights and Community Building Festival, Glasgow, 5th 10th April

Luca Darkholme

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Sex Workers’ Rights Film Night! (PUBLIC EVENT)

7PM – 10PM: The Cinema, CCA – Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD.

Suggested donation: £5

SWOU Collective is proud to invite you to an evening of short films and documentaries produced by sex workers or about sex work. The videos will be introduced by sex workers and allies and will cover themes such as sex workers’ self-organisation, resistance to criminalisation, sex work and migration and effects of anti-trafficking policies on sex workers’ communities.


Sex Worker Open University 2011, by Stoo Ireson, 2012 (UK). The second edition of SWOU brought together activists from a dozen different countries and included a Sex Worker Art Show, demonstration and many workshops!

Streets in Red, by Clare Havell, 2010 (UK). Short documentary on the subject of street based sex workers in the UK.

Normal, by Nic Mai. NORMAL (UK) is made of the combined interviews with four young migrants, who are impersonated by actors. The similarities and differences between the characters’ life trajectories are explored by focusing on their contradictory aspirations to lead a NORMAL life. The four characters explain how they came to see their involvement in the sex industry as NORMAL and how their notion of normality evolved with their life experiences. At the same time, their life trajectories do not conform to the victim/villain stereotypical opposition which dominates current debates about sex.

The Honey Bringer, by Clare Havell and SWOU Collective, 2012 (UK). A documentary on the 2012 Sex Workers Freedom Festival that happened in Kolkata, India as an alternative conference and protest to International AIDS Conference in Washington. Interviews and images from the biggest international sex workers gathering of all times!!

Last Rescue in Siam, by EMPOWER, 2012 (Thailand). This is the first film ever made by sex workers in Thailand. It is a short black and white movie inspired by the tradition of the old silent movies. The film accompanies the Empower research report Hit & Run on the impact of anti-trafficking raids on sex workers’ human rights.


Looking at Laws and Policies that Impact on Sex Workers and Strategies for Resistance and Change (PUBLIC EVENT)

11AM – 4PM: STUC, Scottish Trades Union Congress, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow G3 6NG

The day will open with introductions to the event by members of SWOU and delegate of Comic Relief and Red Umbrella Fund

FIRST PANEL (11AM – 1PM): The Push to Criminalise Clients and the Roll Out Effects on Sex Worker Organising

Jay Levy, University of Cambridge: Swedish Abolitionism as Violence Against Women

Scot-pep: The Scottish Context: Organising Against the Push to Criminalise Clients

X:Talk: The Case for a Moratorium: Sex Workers Organising in the Shadow of the Olympic Games. What

Lessons for the Commonwealth Games?

Morgane Merteuil, Strass: The French Union of Sex Workers’ Approach to Fighting the Criminalisation of Clients

[Discussion between panelists and audience]

SECOND PANEL (2PM – 4PM): An Alternative Approach: Decriminalisation

Anastacia Ryan, NSWP and SWOU: Introducing Decriminalisation as an Alternative Model

English Collective of Prostitutes: Sex Work and the Law: Organising to Win Decriminalisation, Safety and Rights

Film: New Zealand Fight to Pass the Prostitution Reform Act (2003)

Anastacia Ryan, University of Glasgow/NZPC: Exploring and Comparing Sex Workers’ Experiences in Scotland and New Zealand

Zhara Stardust, Scarlet Alliance: Decriminalisation in New South Wales, Australia: The Successes and Challenges Faced by Sex Workers

Film: Australian Sex Workers Fight for Decriminalisation

[Discussion amongst everyone and sharing strategies for the fight for decriminalisation]


Skills Sharing and Discussion Day (SEX WORKERS ONLY)

12PM – 6PM: Email us at glasgow.swou@gmail.com for venue details.

This is a day for sex workers to gather to share skills and experiences. Workshops will include professional skills and discussions (final programme available soon). It is a sex worker only space and all workshops are delivered by sex workers themselves. This is a safe and confidential space.



1.00PM – 5.00PM: Email us at Glasgow.swou@gmail.com for venue details

1.00PM: SWOU Taboo Another sex worker only space, SWOU Taboo is a chance for sex workers to discuss issues that are quite personal and often used against our self-determination. We will create a safe space to discuss issues, such as, sexual violence, mental health and addiction, our relationship to money or our clients.

3.00PM: Sex Work as a Helping Profession As sex workers we often provide our clients with important and invaluable services that support their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual wellbeing. We will create a space for us to collect our stories and share our experiences of ‘helping’.


Building Alliances (PUBLIC EVENT)

7.30PM – 9PM: Mac Lecture Theatre, Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ

Viewing of extract of Proudly Trans in Turkey from Gabrielle Le Roux, about trans activists and sex workers in Turkey.

Followed by discussion and presentation from members of sex workers’, LGBT’s, HIV+’s and migrants’ communities, feminist groups and trade unionists on the intersection between sex work and other criminalised or stigmatized communities and how we can build alliances for social justice and human rights.


Reducing Stigma and Building our Capacity (SEX WORKERS ONLY)

Email us at glasgow.swou@gmail.com for venue/time details and to register

A public education workshop for sex workers by Maria Nengeh Mensah (Stella and Université du Québec à Montréal) and Chris Bruckert (POWER and University of Ottawa).

This two-day workshop is a unique opportunity for sex workers to develop their knowledge as an educator, reinforce their capacity to confront whore-stigma, learn about the principles of public education, and share knowledge, skills and ideas around diverse trainings about sex work. Registration by email necessary.


Sex Work, Stigma and Criminalisation (PUBLIC EVENT)

6PM – 8PM: CCA5, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow G2 3JD

This interactive, public education workshop open to all is led by members of Sex Worker Open University and aim to look at the root causes of whore-phobia, and at the effect of stigma and criminalisation on the lives of sex workers.


FACEBOOK EVENT: Sex Workers’ Rights Festival and Community Building Glasgow

SCOT-PEP: www.scot-pep.org

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