Visual Activism

£4,701 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 51 people in 20 months
Whoretography - Photography + Sex Work

Website: (under reconstruction) - It will be back soon! 

I am an award-winning and published Commercial Photographer and Creative Director of the Whoretography Project. I hold a B.Sc (biological science) from La Trobe University, a post-graduate diploma in criminology from Melbourne University, a Masters Degree in Photography and Creative Media Arts (Distinction, First Class Thesis) from LSBU and I am currently undertaking a PhD in Photography. I am interested in the way marginalised communities use photography in online spaces as a tool for visual activism and political change. I have extensive experience in self-publishing, photo books and zines both as a creative practi ce through and creative practice as
research.  Further to this, I have interests in contemporary photography with an emphasis on theories of the author aseditor and explori ng issues related to politics, sexuality, surveillance and identity that are part of contemporary online photography.

Driving my doctoral research, developed through my own career as a documentary photographer, and my lived experience as an artist is the wider implications for the way other stigmatised groups exist online. It is hoped that those labelled as marginalised can harness the power of visual self-depiction as a tool for visual activism, by challenging prevailing ideologies of stigma, to act as catalysts for political change and exist online free of hostility, stigma and shame.

The Name:

Whoretography.  It's brutal, right? I am sure it seems counter intuitive to use the word Whore in light of my expectations about the use of appropriate language surrounding sex work.   I am mindful that it is viewed just as a smart play on words. An advertising slogan for commercial purposes.  It started out as just the name of a photobook but  now is a public declaration of sorts against the linguistically disproportionate language used to label women who women who work in the sex industry and the role photography plays in the online sale of sex.

The Whoretography Project:

*A safe space on the internet to discuss sex worker imagery free of hostility, stigma and shame.

*The whoretography review of sex work photo books and projects with an emphasis on challenging hegemonic photographic representations of sex industry participants in the media and arts.

*A list of sex work arts-based research projects that use photovoice, participatory photography, photographic essay or photo-elicitation to study sex work communities.

*A living document detailing global photographic projects that depict a vast array of experiences within the sex industry.

*A reflexive and reflective blog documenting my doctoral research.

*A platform to promote the photographic work of current or former sex working photographers and visual artists.

*A best practice photographers guide for current sex workers that promote safe, professional and ethical photographers.

*The publication of a magazine dedicated to the discussion of contemporary and historical aspects of the visuals of sex work.

* A publishing house dedicated to the publication and promotion of Whoretography books.

*The design, print and promotion of sex worker zines and photo books.

*A bookshop of second photobooks, zines and photographic magazines the sale of which will help fund the Whoretography project.

*A program and workshop that enables individuals exiting sex work to develop the skills required to pursue a photographic career in creative media arts.

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A throw back from Whores of Yore ....

Using photography to shame sex work providers is a well-documented tactic. Just google prostitute mugshot, and you will see for yourself. Looking at photographs of dead sex workers makes people feel incredibly uncomfortable. Highlighting them on a platform dedicated to understanding sex work images provokes mixed responses. The decision to republish these pictures is not a flippant afterthought. It is not clickbait to garner better traffic stats. They make me angry and frustrated. I do find it fascinating, though, readings people's reaction to seeing the faces and the bodies of murdered prostitutes. What is it that’s so offensive? The murder itself or the fact that a photograph exists of it?
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Just an update to say that I am now printing more physical copies that I am selling e versions via Blurb and ibooks, I really appreciate people investing in a hard copy. I am nuts bonkers for photographs in the physical form. They are posted in discreet packaging just in case you are worried what the postie may think.

You can buy it directly from my website as a PDF or hard copy, from blurb as a hard copy, e book and PDF and iBooks (e-book)

I have also entered it into a self publishing independent magazine competition via Stack Magazines.
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I am also hoping to have out soon a book of found sex work Polaroids, anonymous stripper audition photographs from the 60s/70s. The book with be available as a hard copy from the Whoretograhy Blurb shop.
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The first edition of the Whoretography Magazine was published on the 14th of Jan 2017. You are able to buy a copy as an e-book via Blurb ( I am working on adding a PDF and hard copy version. I am also trying to have it listed with iBooks and that's a mission that is still a work in progress.
Whoretography Contents Page
Wedding photography & sex work intimacy
The murder of Kelly Lee Carr
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£4,701 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 51 people in 20 months
Created September 18, 2016
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Thank you for the bank transfer (and the laptop) x

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