Performer-Centred Pornography as Sex Workers’ Rights: Developing Labour Standards in a Criminal Context.

 

Aeryn Walker (me!) has been included in Zahra Stardust‘s recent insights from her Ph.D on labour standards in porn, recently shared with The Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) . NSWP Research for Sex Work Issue 15 on Resistance and Resilience features a journal article by Zahra, discussing Australian workers challenges, principals & progress. Some topics covered are our pornographic protests, criminal intimacies, the ethics of care for performer centred pornography, our health, safety and rights in the workplace, and  sex workers’ rights and future challenges.

 

Aeryn Walker featured in Zahra Stardust's journal Performer-Centred Pornography as Sex Workers’ Rights Developing Labour Standards in a Criminal Context GLOBAL NETWORK OF SEX WORK PROJECTS | RESEARCH FOR SEX WORK | ISSUE 15 | JUNE 2016 |

Aeryn Walker featured in Zahra Stardust’s NSWP journal
Performer-Centred Pornography as Sex Workers’ Rights: Developing Labour Standards in a Criminal Context.

 

I honestly believe the public is largely unaware that  the porn performers & producers that it loves in Australia are criminalized and marginalized communities. Australians view, watch, commission & love a lot of porn, but have very little knowledge of the laws and realities of porn. The work Zahra Stardust does in researching and helping give a voice to us is exceptionally important. Her article brings light to the fact that instead of giving in or giving up in spite of discriminatory, queer & kink phobic laws & regulations, alongside many other challenges, we are engaging in sex workers’ rights activism through creating performer-centered spaces and pioneering best-practice labour standards of our own accord.

On her facebook post discussing the article Zahra writes:

“There are ongoing industrial issues and challenges that performer-producers are discussing together behind-the-scenes. These include establishing a clear process and policy for taking down content should the performer change their mind, a transparent process for sighting or storing copies of performer identification that prevents misuse of information or harassment, and avenues for dispute resolution in a context where a small and criminalised industry poses barriers to accessing justice.”

 

The voices of sex workers are paramount in creating safe, ethical industries free from discrimination and abuse, yet we are often afraid or unwilling to speak out. A lot of sex workers are fed up with academia and academics who see us as a titillating subject, a cautionary, agency-less tale of woe, or who  seek use our voices & experiences against us to see us persecuted & prosecuted. Unlike many academics who aren’t sex workers, Zahra has been a part of the sex work / porn community for many years. She’s an amazing advocate on many issues surrounding sex work, porn, queer and trans* rights, and human rights in general. She interviews real sex workers, porn performers, producers & performer-producers, from many different walks of life. It’s wonderful to have an academic who listens, and who understands and keeps context.

I’ve been quoted in the journal and in Zahra‘s research, along with other sex workers, porn performers & producers including Gala Vanting, Angela White, Lucie Bee, Flynn Evans, Dick Savvy, Liandra Dhal, Luna Trash, and Madison Missina.

 

 “In most states in Australia, the production, exhibition, advertising and sale of pornography is criminalised, Sex workers in Australia are making important interventions into the production practices of pornography. Dissatisfied with working for other producers, sex workers are moving behind the camera and producing their own content in collaboration with other sex workers. Seeking autonomy, independence, and control over their working conditions and representation, sex workers have shifted porn’s focus from the product to the process. These ‘performer-producers’ are resisting government classification and criminal laws that deem certain practices as degrading or offensive. Instead, they are engaging in sex workers’ rights activism through creating performer-centered spaces and pioneering best-practice labour standards.  […]

This article presents preliminary results from my PhD research, based upon review of Australian porn legislation, performing in Australian porn, and interviewing Australian porn performers and producers. The research was guided by literature on peer-led research by sex workers and ethical insider research within marginalised communities. This article includes quotes from porn performers who also produce their own pornographic material”

Zahra Stardust
Performer-Centred Pornography as Sex Workers’ Rights Developing Labour Standards in a Criminal Context
GLOBAL NETWORK OF SEX WORK PROJECTS | RESEARCH FOR SEX WORK | ISSUE 15 | JUNE 2016 |

 

It’s freely accessible to the public for reading, so please go forth and read. Also, enjoy the nudey pics of me they put in there. There is a few, I’m flattered!

READ: Performer-Centred Pornography as Sex Workers’ Rights Developing Labour Standards in a Criminal Context at NSWP