January 27, 2015: Attend a photovoice exhibit for sex trade workers

We’ve facilitated a photovoice project with the work I do once before and a second round is currently underway but I’ve never gone to see another group’s exhibit.

For those who don’t know, photovoice is a creative outlet used around the world to give marginalized populations a way to express themselves and feel heard. The participants are given a disposable camera and take pictures of whatever they wish. The participants then decide how they would like to share the photos (exhibit, calendar, website etc).

The exhibit I attended tonight had lots of local press and an incredible turn out including clients, citizens, agencies and the ward’s city council member. The photos alone would have been enough but the messages written beside them were poignant. Some of the pictures were of pay by the hour motels as seen in the daylight, some showed pictures of pets that people felt were their greatest supporters and givers of love, and others were of the places that had provided them with food when they had none.

As longer term readers might have picked up on by now, I am distrustful of the police as a whole. I have seen far too many examples of abuse of power, threatening, coercion and blackmail to believe otherwise. Tonight I learned that in an effort to curb the sex trade, the police in my city successfully lobbied the pay phone company to turn off the pay phones at night in the neighborhoods which are known to have sex work occur. The police think that this will decrease sex work. The reality is of course that they have made inoperable one of the sole ways many people have to call for help should they need it. Fuck da police.

In other news of new things I’ve tried: I have now become one of those people who brings their own chopsticks to a Japanese restaurant.

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