Sex Workers Alliance Ireland organise exhibition of art by sex workers

Working alongside Adeline Berry, Sex Workers Alliance Ireland has made a call for art pieces and prose by sex workers for an exhibition this December.

Secretary of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland Adeline Berry
Image: Shamim Malekmian

Sex Workers Alliance Ireland, in partnership with Adeline Berry, are organising an exhibition of art pieces created by sex workers commemorating International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (IDEVASW), December 17. 

Adeline Berry highlighted the importance of the event, “It is our intention to show the diversity and humanity of sex workers through art and performance while commemorating our fallen sisters and comrades.”

As an openly transgender sex worker, Adeline is passionate about the project and the impact it will have upon breaking the stigma around sex work in Ireland. She has made a public call for sex workers to send their art pieces and prose to both herself and Sex Workers Alliance Ireland.

IDEVASW was founded by Dr Annie Sprinkles and the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA. It was initially conceived as a memorial and vigil for the victims of the Green River Killer in Seattle, Washington. “We use it to bring attention to the violence sex workers face as a traditionally disposable demographic,” Adeline says.

This year’s commemoration comes at a pinnacle point in Ireland as the review of the “Nordic Model” law, adopted in March 2017, is expected next year. The Model criminalises the purchase of sex rather than the selling of sex. Since the inception of the model into Irish law, there has been a 92% increase in violence toward sex workers.

“With this show, I’m hoping to tear down some of the stigmas that keep workers from organising, having their voices heard and forming community,” Adeline says.

She described the reaction to the exhibition in Ireland as “tepid”, however internationally there has been an overwhelming response. 

The exhibition carries deep significance in its hopes for creating awareness around the lives of sex workers, as Adeline says, “For too long here voiceless and powerless sex workers have been pawns in the agendas of the rich and middle-class. It’s time for Irish sex workers to find their voices.”

The venue of the exhibition will be released closer to the date.

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