|Scarlot Harlot, Sadie Lune, and Kitty Naive are the most fabulous pros on the planet.
âAfter Hours,â the opening gala for the Sex Worker Film and Art Festival, is coming to the Center for Sex & Culture on May 1, 7-10 pm. To be held at the Epicenter Gallery, 398 11th Street (near Harrison), the event is sponsored by the Center for Sex & Culture, benefiting St. James Infirmary. The cost is $10- $20, sliding scale. The mission of the St. James Infirmary is to provide compassionate and nonjudgmental health care and social services for all sex workers, while preventing occupational illnesses and injuries through a comprehensive continuum of services. The festival runs from May 1 through 8. A full schedule is available at bayswan.org/swfest2005/schedule.
This performance and art show opening features sex worker artists from near and far who, organizers say, will seduce, challenge, and entertain you. The evening will be a mixer, raffle, a chance to get to know your local sex worker, find out more about the weekâs events, buy âSluts Unite T-Shirtsâ & toys & books, register for âWhore College,â and support the St. James infirmary. âCome and hang out with the sex workers!â says Festival Director Scarlot Harlot.
Sister Kitty Catalyst will emcee the opening. She told me she has been a threat to the status quo in San Francisco since 1993. She continues to organize and produce alternative and counter-culture events while âputting the pagan into propaganda.â A self-professed femme-nazi and homo-propagandist, she has been bending gender on the front lines to diverse audiences in the Bay Area and beyond.
Kitten on the Keys, who won the 2003 SF Weekly Music Award in the New Genre/Beyond category for her campy vaudevillian performances of her kinky cabaret ditties, will be a featured performer. At the 2nd Annual NY Burlesque Festival, Kitten won a Golden Pastie Award for being the Biggest Tease.
Special international guests are The Debbys from Australia. âDebby doesnât do it for free,â organizers warn. âDebby contradicts the mainstream media run of sex work sleaze. U.S. and Canadian audiences have a one-time chance to experience this complex, colorful, pro-whore documentation of sex worker experiences.â Film, performance, song, sound-scape, poetry, fanzines, satire, installation, and workshops offer up a confronting, collective voice as sex worker autonomous organizing takes over the gallery, stage, and screen. Caution: you will find no Pretty Woman amongst the Debbyâs. Other performers include Stacey Swimme, Sadie Lune, Ginger Virago, and Dee Dee Russell. Special guests include Scarlot Harlot and Annie Sprinkle.
The art exhibit, âAfter Hours,â is described by curator Jane Cassell of the Center for Sex and Culture, who calls herself a bisexual, middle-aged feminist, ex-street hooker/stripper/welfare mother/punk rocker/widow, artist, mother and grandmother who believes labels can give others inspiration. âIn âAfter Hoursâ we are getting the chance to see what happens when people with experience in sex work make art,â she says. âTwo things stand out. One is that our bodies become an all-consuming focus. The body is held by lovers, morphed, cut, and given wings. The body is viewed and treated in ways often beyond the scope of everyday life. The beauty of our pussies, our cocks, our hips, the way we look at one another, and crook of our arms is revealed in these works. As artists and (former and current) sex workers, our bodies are both tools and toys. The other thing that stands out is the complete artistic diversity contained in the show.â She says there is everything from the coolly composed âWrenchâ by Elizabeth Stephens, to the richly organic vulva-shaped âCowrieâ by Mim Weisburd, to the frank & hilarious âCaught You Lookingâ by Katie Gilmartin, to the iconic muscle pop studs in âParadeâ by Kevin Mosley. âOur bodies have been freed!,â exclaims Cassell. âThe movement and beauty of our bodies has become our language. We have brushes, cameras, and imagination to write our stories, and âAfter Hoursâ is just the start.â