Project curators: Vika Begalska, Yulia Tikhonova
Aphrodite’s Girdle Performance
Overcoming Stigmatization of Those Employed in Sex Service Sphere round-table discussion
Date and place: October 31, 2014, Lyuda Gallery, Mokhovaya 42, St. Petersburg
Aphrodite’s Girdle puppet show is the product of the mutual effort of artists and sex workers. The show was made possible by the workshop conducted by Vika Begalska and Alexander Vilkin involving sex workers from the Silver Rose organization in St. Petersburg from July to October. The show is based on the interviews and life stories of sex workers. Sex workers are directly involved in the performance, they play the roles of main characters, provide the sound track for the puppets, present the monologues reciting them before the audience. Juxtaposing the common view of the modern society to true images of sex workers, the authors of the show tried to overcome the stigmatization of sex workers by public moral.
Due to the choice of a popular street puppet show format, monologues of sex workers, uttered by Avant-Garde puppets, sound abstract. This kind of representation makes it possible to discuss, through detachment, the individual empirical experience of sex workers in the format of a round-table discussion.
So, the show produced by artists and sex workers is to view the experience of sex workers through their own eyes, first and foremost, and from the positions of the law, law enforcement, feminist, economic, institutional and other views, which come second and even third.
Round-table discussion Overcoming Stigmatization of Those Employed in the Sex Service Sphere
Moderator: Oksana Sarkisyan
Participants: sex workers, artists, activists, social scientists, public activists, social workers
Feminist Kitchen (feminkitchen.org)
Серебряная Роза (silver-rose.org)
Brooklyn House of Kulture (brooklynhouseofkulture.org)
The round-table discussion was made possible with the support of the Moscow branch of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
Участники круглого стола:
1.Nadezhda Azhgihina, secretary of Russian Union of Journalism leads off panel on partnerships, Moscow. “Stigma and its overcoming/transformation in the traditional and feminist periodicals and on the material of the international journal “You/We”, “Spark”, “Independet Newspaper”
2. Lyudmila Bredikhina, expert in feminist theory, curator, Moscow, “Representation and Self-Representation of Sex Workers in Modern Art as an Issue”.
3. Reet Varblane, curator of a number of feminist art projects and workshops, including those involving sex workers, Tallinn. “Images of sex workers in the visual art”
4. Marina Denisova, sex worker, St. Petersburg. “Creative Self-Realization and Creative Self-Expression within the Framework of a Sex Worker Profession”.
5. Maria Dudko, Moscow Experimental School of Gender Research, Moscow. “The Left and Sex Work”.
6. Irina Zherebkina, Kharkov National University, Philosophy Department, Culture Theory and Science Philosophy Chair, Professor, Kharkov. “Could and How Feminists Say “We” Today?”
7. Grigory Zaslavsky, theatre critic, Moscow. “Industrial play about hard work of sex-workers.”
8. Alexander Kondakov – social scientist, Center for Independent Sociological Research, researcher, St. Petersburg. “For and against legalization”
9. Ирина Маслова, президент ассоциации Серебряная Роза, Санкт-Петербург «Дискриминация секс-работников и опыт социальной защиты. Права секс-работников: международный опыт»
10.Alla Mitrofanova, philosopher, expert in feminist theory, St. Petersburg. “Unnatural sexuality. How many bodies can recognize lawyers?”
11.Gleb Napreenko, art critic, Moscow. “Do you feel sometimes that you are paying for sex or vise versa?"
12. Igor Chubarov, candidate of philosophic sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Philosophy Institute, senior researcher, Logos journal, member of the editorial board.
Видеозапись круглого стола