I recently received this PR-like informative email (pasted in full below) regarding the Sex Workers’ Opera (SWO), and I thought it was super interesting.
If you are a sex worker or ally in London, UK on Wednesday February 26th, 2014, perhaps consider attending? Keep in mind that this project centers on “sex workers [telling] their stories themselves, with no moralising or judgement and no ulterior motives” and seeks “to give voice to people of all genders, sexualities, backgrounds and (dis)abilities.”
You can email the organizer, Siobhan Knox, for more details.
I am a sex worker currently living and working in East London and would really like to let you and your networks know about an exciting project that myself and my theatre collective is currently working on.
The project is a Sex Workers’ Opera, initially in London. As I am a sex worker myself, and know many other sex workers in the UK and abroad, this is a subject that is obviously close to my heart, and I really feel that for sex workers to tell their stories themselves, with no moralising or judgement and no ulterior motives is extremely rare and very much needed.
We are life-queer and recognise that many sex workers issues overlap with LGBTQ+ issues. We want to give voice to people of all genders, sexualities, backgrounds and (dis)abilities.
We would also like to encourage allies to take part in the project, but because we want the stories to be presented in voices that will represent the sex worker community as accurately and genuinely as possible, we would like the cast and crew of the opera to be no more that 50% allies – the more sex workers involved, the better! We are also working with networks around the world, for instance with academics and activists in sex worker unions in Taiwan, to ensure the production presents a global perspective.
We are copying in sex worker organisations around the world for three reasons:
1. For support developing our international voice and encouraging sex workers in other areas to contribute their stories and ideas
2. For support in taking the production overseas/creating parallel productions in other regions
3. For support spreading the word to any contacts you or your members might know in the UK
We have received training and support from the Royal Opera House which enables us to create an opera from scratch, working with people who have little to no music or drama experience. Once we have an established group of participants, we will all communally create a story (or collection of stories) and music, and we will all learn how to make costumes, design sets, do lighting and stage management. There will be onstage and offstage roles available to all. We are safety conscious and no real names need to be used during the process or the production and we will do our utmost to ensure safe spaces during the rehearsals.
I have attached the official invitation to the Sex Workers’ Opera’s first group meeting, along with our website, facebook and twitter. If any of the members in your organisation would like to get involved, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
and come along to the first meeting on Wednesday the 26th February. We would love to have you on board. If you could also please pass this information to any other relevant parties (feel free to forward this email), arrange a call out on your networks, for sex workers and allies who might be up for taking part we would really appreciate it!
Thank you so much,
Siobhan Knox and the SWO crew
There is an online version of the attached pdf invitation at: http://www.
PDF of info (click to open) –> Sex Workers Opera Invitation
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