Sex workers festival SNAP! opens in Brussels in May

Sex workers festival SNAP! opens in Brussels in May
Cinema Nova. Credit: Pablo Gulin Diaz Kopec (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The first edition of the sex workers festival SNAP! (Sex workers Narratives Arts & Politics) will take place from 27 to 29 May at the Beursschouwburg and Cinema Nova in Brussels.

The festival programme is centred around artworks and speeches made by people directly involved in sex work, or by allies respecting a principle of active collaboration with them.

“SNAP!’s primary goal is to give voice to sex workers working in the various sex trades and to shed light from the inside on the experiences of these activities that are too often misunderstood and stigmatized,” the organisers say.

“SNAP!’s programming is dedicated to highlighting works created by or with the active collaboration of those involved, in order to give voice to the diversity of the experiences of sex workers. From the most complex to the most forthright, the stories and representations of sex work are displayed, discussed and analysed in a festive and benevolent context.”

The festival will feature pornography, but also information about escorting and BDSM practices (Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) and the latest developments in these practices.

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There will be performances, films, debates and the exhibition “Whore and Painter”. This will pay tribute to Grisélidis Réal, a Swiss writer, painter and prostitute who died in 2005. Some content will only be accessible to people over the age of 18.

“Sex workers are particularly victims of stigmatising stereotypes in the media. Yet, representations have a predominant place in the construction of social imagery. For that reason, creating and promoting narratives that respect minority populations is crucial in the fight against discrimination.”

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