The consequences of being an outsider

Due to my position of researching sex work, however, being an outsider within the sex industry, it is extremely important that I am aware of the negative impact I could have to the industry. The element of intrusion and distrust I may cause just by solely photographing sex workers, could be detrimental to the identities of these marginalised individuals. Which is why, as an artist and collaborator, I need to ensure that I introduce myself to the industry, explain my position, and also acknowledge my placement with the research and practice I have chosen to take.

The last thing I want to do, is exploit my subject matter. What I look to do, and have focused on through the last year and a half of my findings, is to establish relationship in the imagery I create. I want to ensure I am collaborating, and that they have majority of control over the imagery that we create together. I want to listen to their stories, even those whose I will not tell. But, I also want to feel like I understand them more. Something I have stood by within the entirety of this project, is that this is their voice, the way they can communicate their woes, and experiences of being part of a marginalised community.

I feel their voices, and the imagery that will coincide with these voices – in a midst of the focus on identity – will establish the opposition that the media has against the industry. The imagery will show the fictitious nature of which news articles, newspapers, magazines, and social media gossip, presents these people. The stock narrative of the woman stood by the car in minimal clothing, and fishnet tights, with a dainty pair of heels. Is this the real perception? From people I have met and spoke to, the reality is much different. And it is the reality that I want to portray. I want to establish identity through their own means, and again, I want them to be able to have their own voices.

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