Sex Workers' Pop-Up

Sex Workers' Pop-Up A free exhibit featuring artwork and performances by and about s*x workers from around the world that took place in March 2020 in NYC #S*xWorkIsWork
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Operating as usual

Our hearts are with the metro Atlanta and Asian and Pacific Islander communities grieving after this horrific attack. We...
03/17/2021

Our hearts are with the metro Atlanta and Asian and Pacific Islander communities grieving after this horrific attack. We grieve too and stand in solidarity against racist and s*xist violence. We can’t disconnect this tragedy from the pervasive violence that people experience every day because of their identities—as women, as Asians, as q***r people, as massage workers, as low wage workers — especially given increasing attacks during the pandemic on Asians or those perceived as Asian.

Press Release - Georgia’s Asian American Leaders Call for Community-Centered Response After Six Asian Women Are Murdered

During this time of crisis for our AAPI community, we call on our local and state government to provide robust and responsive crisis intervention resources, including in-language support for mental health, legal, employment, and immigration services. It is time for Georgia to invest in transformative justice that begins with cross racial dialogue and community-building that address the root causes of violence and hate.

See our full statement here: https://www.advancingjustice-atlanta.org/news/communityresponse

03/10/2021
An Exhibit for and by S*x Workers

Art allows us to imagine new bonds in our community, by asking we be more thoughtful. The S*x Workers’ Pop-Up, which opened a year ago today, challenged visitors to listen to s*x workers and rethink how society defines work. https://osf.to/2ViJDSx

08/28/2020
An Exhibit for and by S*x Workers

Well before the global pandemic hit, s*x workers were organizing for their human rights in a society that has tried to keep them down. Five months ago, our pop-up exhibit showcased art by and for s*x workers from around the world, in order to highlight their humanity and amplify their voices.

As Global Network of S*x Work Projects' Ruth Morgan Thomas says, “This exhibition is about showing our diversity, showing our realities, which are ones, as you can see...are amazing, proud individuals standing up as s*x workers saying, ‘I'm human, look at me.’”

We're grateful to everyone who came to the exhibit, and to all of you who didn't get a chance but still proudly believe that s*x work is work. Take a look back at the experience and the art, and hear from the organizers and activists who made it possible.

S*x Workers' Pop-Up
06/10/2020

S*x Workers' Pop-Up

Well, we knew March was going to be eventful, we just thought it would be for more celebratory reasons. Even though we h...
04/02/2020

Well, we knew March was going to be eventful, we just thought it would be for more celebratory reasons. Even though we had to close early, we're grateful to all of you who were able to visit, shared your experiences on social media, and joined the global movement to decriminalize s*x work.

And finally, thank you to The Soze Agency, which produced the pop-up gallery, and to our advisory committee, who steered the process and pulled together an amazing and inspiring community of s*x workers, artists and activists from around the world:
* Jules Kim, CEO of Scarlet Alliance - Australian S*x Workers Association
* Kholi Buthelezi, National Coordinator for South Africa's Sisonke
* Leila Raven of Decrim NY
* Ruth Morgan Thomas, founding member of the Global Network of S*x Work Projects
* Shareese Mone, development coordinator for HIPS
* Thierry Schaffauser, co-founder of Strass - Syndicat du Travail S*xuel

(Portraits credit: Robyn Twomey/Redux for Open Society Foundations)

From Joggapa communities in India, to s*x workers in Colombia and Guatemala, to inters*x activists in the United States,...
04/02/2020

From Joggapa communities in India, to s*x workers in Colombia and Guatemala, to inters*x activists in the United States, Carlos Motta's GENDER TALENTS documents the ways in which society conditions and regulates bodies, and how gender activists build politics of resistance and action.

This archive of documentary video portraits, which played under the red umbrellas of the S*x Workers' Pop-Up, features trans and inters*x activists who thoughtfully perform gender as a personal, social, and political opportunity rather than as a social condemnation. You can watch the interviews here: https://gendertalents.info/portraits/

Today is #TransDayofVisibility, and to commemorate, we're sharing more portraits of trans s*x workers in New York and Wa...
03/31/2020

Today is #TransDayofVisibility, and to commemorate, we're sharing more portraits of trans s*x workers in New York and Washington, D.C. These powerful images by KishaBariPhotography were commissioned for our pop-up and we're proud to have featured them on our walls.

"The free exhibition invited people to enjoy artwork from around the world, and listen to s*x workers from different cou...
03/27/2020
NYC's S*x Work Exhibition Officially Pops Off

"The free exhibition invited people to enjoy artwork from around the world, and listen to s*x workers from different countries that often feel 'misunderstood, criminalized, and misrepresented.'"

Crowds poured into the creative arts hall on 9 West 8th Street in lower Manhattan for the first day of the much-anticipated and debated S*x Workers’ Pop-Up exhibition, which officially kicked off Tuesday night. Multimedia projects were strewn on every wall from summery poetry and illustrations to ...

S*x workers are losing money because of the coronavirus. Advocates say that means they’re more likely to face exploitati...
03/27/2020
S*x Workers Are Suffering During The Coronavirus Outbreak

S*x workers are losing money because of the coronavirus. Advocates say that means they’re more likely to face exploitation.

S*x workers are losing money because of the coronavirus. Advocates say that means they’re more likely to face exploitation.

It shouldn't be controversial to view s*x work as work. The S*x Workers' Pop-Up was created to call attention to the sto...
03/26/2020
S*x Workers’ pop-up art exhibition sheds light on controversial industry

It shouldn't be controversial to view s*x work as work. The S*x Workers' Pop-Up was created to call attention to the stories, voices, and lives of s*x workers, and remove the stigma through art.

Artwork by 17 current or former s*x workers will be featured in a week-long exhibition meant to help shift public perception of people in the s*x industry.

Earlier this year (though it feels like a hundred years ago), openDemocracy published Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, an...
03/26/2020

Earlier this year (though it feels like a hundred years ago), openDemocracy published Beyond Trafficking and Slavery, an 11-part series about the push for s*x work deciminalization, as told by s*x worker rights groups and allies around the world. Take a break from coronavirus coverage and read the in-depth series here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/beyond-trafficking-and-slavery/

The painting "I Support S*x Worker Rights" combines artist Rosa Ngala Curtis's activism and culture, using traditional m...
03/25/2020

The painting "I Support S*x Worker Rights" combines artist Rosa Ngala Curtis's activism and culture, using traditional motifs and symbols. At the top left and right are strong women with fighting sticks, used in support of s*x worker rights. The umbrella in the center is the universal symbol of the global s*x worker rights movement, while the circles in the painting symbolize the waterholes in the desert that mean life. In Rosa's tribe, she is a rainmaker. The strong women depicted in the painting are bringing life wherever they go, fighting for s*x worker rights.
(Photo credit: Jonna Algarin Mojica)

In the New York City neighborhood of Flushing, many Asian immigrants have struggled to get by in the formal economy, and...
03/25/2020
Pop-Up Exhibit Shines a Red Light On the State of S*x Work

In the New York City neighborhood of Flushing, many Asian immigrants have struggled to get by in the formal economy, and some turn to s*x work and massage parlors to make ends meet. Bedford + Bowery examines their plight, and the push to decriminalize s*x work in NYC and globally, through the prism of the S*x Workers' Pop-Up and the art and activism of Red Canary Song 红莺歌

In Greenwich Village this week, a s*x workers pop-up exhibition is attracting attention. Bo***ge rope draped loosely from the ceiling along with objects like high heels, di**os, and leather belts r…

"As empathy grows for s*x worker’s plight, I wanted to know: What would decriminalization of s*x work look like in the U...
03/25/2020
What Would the Decriminalization of S*x Work Look Like?

"As empathy grows for s*x worker’s plight, I wanted to know: What would decriminalization of s*x work look like in the US? Is it enough to move s*x workers out of the shadows?"
(via Autostraddle)

As Vermont became the second state to introduce a bill to decriminalize s*x work, the real possibility of decrim future is on our horizon. But how would decrim take shape in the United States? Woul…

Visitors to the S*x Workers's Pop-Up were challenged to rethink their views on s*x work and leave with a fuller, more co...
03/25/2020
NYC S*x Workers’ Pop-Up: ‘S*x Work Is Work’

Visitors to the S*x Workers's Pop-Up were challenged to rethink their views on s*x work and leave with a fuller, more complicated idea of who s*x workers are.

The S*x Workers’ Pop-Up in New York City showcases art by activists who are demanding the decriminalization and destigmatization of the s*x work industry.

S*x workers, like others in the freelance and gig economy, are grappling with COVID-19's toll on their business and fina...
03/24/2020
How S*x Workers Are Grappling With Coronavirus

S*x workers, like others in the freelance and gig economy, are grappling with COVID-19's toll on their business and finances.
via Paper Magazine

"Do they go broke or keep working with the risk of exposure?"

Candice Breitz is a Berlin-based artist whose moving image installations have been shown around the world. Her short fil...
03/23/2020

Candice Breitz is a Berlin-based artist whose moving image installations have been shown around the world. Her short film “Sweat,” a collection of ten interviews that ran on a loop at our pop-up, offers a series of glimpses into the lived experiences of Cape Town, South Africa-based s*x workers. All of the s*x workers featured are activists with the S*x Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce.

You can watch the interviews here: https://vimeo.com/candicebreitz

As s*x workers went on strike for International Women’s Day earlier this month, posters popped up on the London Undergro...
03/22/2020
Posters advocating s*x work decriminalisation appear on the London tube

As s*x workers went on strike for International Women’s Day earlier this month, posters popped up on the London Underground calling for the decriminalization of s*x work.
(via Dazed and Confused Magazine)

The adhacking campaign precedes a protest to call for the normalisation of s*x work and point out the dangers of criminalising it

DASPU (of the wh**es) is a Brazilian clothing line and political catwalk that uses joy and irony to break standards of b...
03/20/2020

DASPU (of the wh**es) is a Brazilian clothing line and political catwalk that uses joy and irony to break standards of beauty, s*xuality, gender, and s*x. The late Gabriela Leite created DASPU in 2005, continuing her decades of activism, and it has grown into a cultural and artistic movement that brings the s*x workers together with other movements, such as collectives for trans rights, in powerful performances that evoke resistance and sensuality.

These photos by the artist and photographer Daniela Pinheiro show the DASPU catwalks in São Paulo from 2014 to 2017. Part of a larger exhibition called P**a Luta (w***e fight), they communicate the strength of the fashion shows where s*x workers, artists, and activists perform their fights for s*xual freedom, body diversity, and human rights. By reclaiming the word p**a as a political position and the catwalk as a political space, DASPU drastically expands the visibility of s*x workers’ rights, resistance, and power.
(Photo credit: Jonna Algarin Mojica)

“Men are using the virus as leverage: ‘I’m already taking a risk seeing you. So why should I use a condom?’”
03/20/2020
Coronavirus Fears Are Decimating The S*x Industry

“Men are using the virus as leverage: ‘I’m already taking a risk seeing you. So why should I use a condom?’”

As COVID-19 spreads in Seattle, s*x workers are losing clients and taking more risks

In many countries, police use condoms as a tool to arrest s*x workers. This dangerous situation is well known by organiz...
03/19/2020

In many countries, police use condoms as a tool to arrest s*x workers. This dangerous situation is well known by organizations that promote and distribute condoms, including UNAIDS and the Global Fund. However, they take no visible action when the condoms they provide are confiscated by police and used to persecute s*x workers.

In July 2018, the Empower Condom Police patrolled the International AIDS Conference, carrying out lighthearted “stop, search and arrest” operations. More than 150 delegates were publicly “arrested” for carrying condoms, eight booths and networking zones were issued with closure notices, and more than 1,000 condoms confiscated. Created by the Empower Foundation, a s*x worker-led organization in Thailand, the performance collected 220 signatures for a subpoena demanding UNAIDS and the Global Fund bring an end to the use of condoms as evidence and to decriminalize s*x work.

Watch the Empower Condom Police in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-wp6iUzFnU

(Photo credit: Jonna Algarin Mojica)

Whether your working from home or in self-quarantine, remember: "There’s no such thing as free p**n. Pornhub and other t...
03/16/2020
85 Ways to Make S*x Workers' Lives a Little Easier

Whether your working from home or in self-quarantine, remember: "There’s no such thing as free p**n. Pornhub and other third-party sites take a percentage of what the performers make and make money from ads. Even if you're watching 'for free,' they're still making a profit that we aren’t. Pay for p**n."

Read this list of 85 ways you can be an ally to s*x workers, then tell us: what are some others? How are you showing up for s*x workers and other marginalized people in your life and community, during this COVID-19 shutdown and every day?

S*x work is a cornerstone of society, and there are more ways to support people who do it than just tipping generously (though that's a great start).

While we're heartbroken that we had to close the pop-up early, we know this is barely a minor inconvenience compared to ...
03/16/2020
I'm A S*x Worker & Coronavirus Is Killing My Business

While we're heartbroken that we had to close the pop-up early, we know this is barely a minor inconvenience compared to the serious hardships many s*x workers are now facing due to COVID-19. Here's one account.

On Tuesday, Conservative peer Lord Bethel said: "Kissing is wonderful but potentially dangerous." Those words and the advice from the government on coronavirus is killing trade for s*x workers.

The red umbrella has been the international symbol of the s*x work movement for nearly twenty years. The canopy of red u...
03/14/2020

The red umbrella has been the international symbol of the s*x work movement for nearly twenty years. The canopy of red umbrellas that lined the atrium ceiling of the S*x Workers' Pop-Up was created by Sun Kim, a New York-based production designer and art director. Standing under it, you could feel the visibility and security the movement is fighting for. We can feel it even in these photos. Can you?

(Photo credit: Jonna Algarin Mojica)

S*x Workers' Pop-Up's cover photo
03/13/2020

S*x Workers' Pop-Up's cover photo

Our pop-up may now be closed, but the fight for the rights and humanity of s*x workers powers forward. We will continue ...
03/13/2020

Our pop-up may now be closed, but the fight for the rights and humanity of s*x workers powers forward. We will continue to highlight the art that filled our walls and the artists and activists who created them here.

Stigma, a two-painting series by Despo Debby, calls attention to the aggression, harassment, insults, and slights that s*x workers—and POC street s*x workers in particular—experience every day. An Australian Indigenous s*x worker and q***r black radical artist, Despo Debby is a part of the s*x worker arts collective Debby Doesnt Do It For Free.

UPDATE: The S*x Workers’ Pop-Up will be closed starting Friday, March 13 to support New York City’s efforts to contain t...
03/12/2020

UPDATE: The S*x Workers’ Pop-Up will be closed starting Friday, March 13 to support New York City’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Given the temporary nature of the exhibit, we regret to inform you that we will not be reopening.

We must do everything we can to ensure the health of community members by minimizing public gatherings. If you were not able to view the exhibit, please visit our website and continue following us here to learn more about the participating artists and activists and about the global s*x work movement.

We are actively monitoring the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public ...
03/12/2020

We are actively monitoring the evolving COVID-19 outbreak. Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health, we are canceling all remaining events.

At this time, the exhibit remains open, but we ask visitors to take measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as determined by NYC Health: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page

Please check back here or on our website for regular updates on operating hours. https://s*xworkerspopup.org

Red Canary Song 红莺歌, a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant s*x workers, was founded after a massage worker in Que...
03/11/2020

Red Canary Song 红莺歌, a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant s*x workers, was founded after a massage worker in Queens named Yang Song was killed during a police raid in 2017. Mouth of the Coalmine (2018), a multimedia work inspired by her and the oppression faced by so many s*x workers, is on view through Monday, March 16 at the S*x Workers' Pop-Up. http://s*xworkerspopup.org/
(Photo credit: Jonna Algarin Mojica)

Over the past two years, 101 female and transwomxn s*x workers have died in South Africa, with 45% attributed to murder ...
03/11/2020
Maverick Citizen: FEMICIDE NATION: #SayHerName: Murders of s*x workers remain high, yet invisible

Over the past two years, 101 female and transwomxn s*x workers have died in South Africa, with 45% attributed to murder and only 10 reported by the media, according to S*x Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce's annual #SayHerName campaign report.

Since 2014, most of the s*x workers who died in SA were murdered – often while working. The #SayHerName campaign has tracked down and described the cases it could find and has compiled them into a data-based report.

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What is the Sex Workers’ Pop-Up?

The Sex Workers' Pop-Up is a free exhibit in New York City that features artwork and performances about sex work from around the world.

Sex work is often misunderstood, misrepresented, stigmatized, and still criminalized in most countries. Labeling sex workers as villains or victims won't improve lives or society, but labor protections and human rights will. That's why sex workers are organizing to represent and defend their interests. This pop-up exhibit asks visitors to listen to the voices of sex workers, and reflect on how society defines work.

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected]

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Thank you lord Jesus Christ!