Monday, February 4, 2008

Sex Workers' Art Show at W&M

There was a nervous and confused mood in the air tonight as we walked past police cars, news vans, and religious protesters into the William and Mary UC Building to watch the "Sex Worker's Art Show".

The performers and organizers of the event (which is based out of my uber-liberal hometown of Olympia, Washington) obviously felt the tension. They said that nowhere but Williamsburg had they faced such scrutiny, and controversy. That was suprising, coming from a group that surely meets a lot of skepticism everywhere.

The show itself was VERY provocative. Definitely not the type of thing you see every day. At least not around here; maybe in bohemian artists' colonies. But it wasn't porn, despite some shocking partial-nudity and some outrageous burlesque dancing by voluptuous stage veterans.

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It was mainly dramatic storytelling and poetry by strippers, prostitutes, and porn stars, relating their (both good and bad) personal experiences.

There was so much going on, and so many different perspectives were presented, that it was a bit hard for me to extract the overall message or to form a firm opinion of what I had just seen. I think that the goal of the show was not to simply glorify the sex industry, but to "expose" it's many, varied aspects and shake up people's thoughts and conversations about sex, gender, exploitation, art, etc. It shook me up alright.

4 comments:

Paul Richardson said...

Hey Man!! I thought they explicitly stated that there were to be NO cameras. How did you get that photo? Do you have any more???

Sorry I didn't get to go with you guys, especially after the spew of the uptight, hyper-repressed, conservative dudes like Tim Hugo. I'm thinking: Larry Craig
See: (http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/williamsburg/dp-news_sexshowreax_0206feb06,0,3878509.story

James Douglass said...

Thanks for the link, man. I wish those "do-gooder" lawmakers would actually do something good, instead of needlessly persecuting W&M President Gene Nichol over this show.

Regarding the picture, I downloaded it from someone else's blog; they'd been to a showing where pictures WERE allowed. You can see more pictures from the show if you click the "Olympia" link in my post.

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