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.
Our very own @adeline_whitney is looking for art, drawings, paintings and prose for an exhibition in the future. She also speaks about sex work and being working class, intersex and trans in Ireland. https://t.co/YceXhTfyxV
— SWAI Ireland (@SWAIIreland) August 23, 2019
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.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.