Sex Worker Input
Throughout the course of this project, I have sought feedback and input from sex workers and peer-led sex worker rights organisations. Some of the people and organisations I have worked with include:
Individual sex workers:
Commercial business operators:
The people I have worked with have contributed time, interviews and/or access.
The sections on Confidentiality, Writing Process and Photography Process outline how we have worked together. In summary, it's a process of collaboration and continuous feedback where I frequently make mistakes, learn and correct. Catherine Healy, from NZPC, has given feedback on my writing and talked candidly about the nuanced issues faced by the sex worker activist community. I also always look for feedback on my project from the sex workers that I meet through activism. Does that mean I'm not objective? Yes. It does.
It's worth explaining a little more about my time spent working with NZPC. I've been in contact with NZPC since 2013 but in 2016 I spent two months working with them in Wellington. They have contributed time and access and in return I've given them photos and video for their website. Before travelling to New Zealand I submitted a 3,000-word project proposal to them covering things like purpose, funding and outcomes. We talked on many occasions and at great length about my role as a non-sex worker and photographer/writer. NZPC are perhaps a little unique in that although they have funding from the Ministry of Health they don't have a large population base to draw on for support and skills. As I combine skills in communications and media with a knowledge of some of the issues being faced by the sex workers' rights movement, NZPC were interested in working with me.
I have not received any funding from any of the organisations I have worked with. Even when they have offered to cover expenses I've quietly refused as I think that resources spent on practical work like outreach is more valuable than 'awareness raising'. I have donated money in return for interviews and I donated money to have the opportunity to talk about my project with Melissa Gira Grant. I've also donated money because I think a project or issue is worth supporting.
Non-Sex Worker Input
I've also received invaluable input from non-sex workers, including Paul McDonald who runs Contact Sheet Gallery in Sydney and has acted as a mentor for me since 2013.
Some people I’d like to thank for their input into this project include:
- Catherine Healy
- Calum Bennachie
- Ahi Wi-Hongi
- Chanel Hati
- Annah Pickering
- Dylan Owen
- Kate Whitely
- Rob Vallender
- Alistair at Wilderness magazine
The content for Faces Behind the Voices has come from researching sex worker rights organisations and specifically the following questions for researchers which I have done my best to answer:
What is your relationship to the sex industry? [see Why?]
How have sex workers been involved in the creation of, planning and execution of this project or story? [see above]
How do you believe that this project or story will directly benefit sex workers? For example, if this is a research project, how will you compensate the sex workers involved? [see this page plus Outcomes]
All work on sex workers involves some risk to the sex workers involved. How have you considered these risks and how will you prevent them? [see Confidentiality]