The short documentary, “I’m black, I’m queer and I’m a whore,” stars Diana Navarro, a sex worker and lawyer who is fighting for the rights of trans people and sex workers in Colombia. It will be shown at the now-sold-out third London Sex Worker Film Festival, taking place Sunday at the Rio Cinema in the borough of Hackney.
“This was a last minute addition to our program, but we just had to find room for it,” the organizers write about the film — whose original title is “Soy negra, soy marica y soy puta” — on the website for the festival.
Navarro’s story is one of eight shorts and feature-lengths at the festival, all made by or “with significant input” from those in the industry.
Explaining the festival’s raison d’etre, its website explains:
“The London Sex Worker Film Festival is based on the premise that in such an intensely whorephobic society, self-representation is a radical act. All our films are made by sex workers, former sex workers or with significant input from sex workers. We don’t shy away from the hard topics but seek to re-frame the dialogue to value those most affected by anti-sex worker representations and rhetoric … We recognise that the subject of sex work can provoke strong emotional responses as do the many intersecting issues of migration, border control, race, gender and violence.”
The website also highlights that 2015 is significant for sex workers as the 30-year anniversary of the sex worker occupation in Lyon.
The festival is run by the Sex Worker Open University, which is holding a two-day, sex worker-led conference Thursday and Friday.
The Sex Worker Open University describes itself as “created by and for sex workers” and “a place to socialize, learn new skills, and create events together. Our aim is to empower our community through workshops, debates, actions and art project as well as fighting against our criminalisation.”
The SWOU, whose motto is “It’s a business doing pleasure with you,” is based in the U.K.
Image from SWOU