Just a few days before I was supposed to leave for Berlin my friend Anna had told me about a phenomenal new performance, happening right when I was gone, focusing on the topic of sex work.
I was gutted that I would not be able to see it. Since this topic is essential for my SPITTELBERG collection.
After I returned to Vienna - and had a great weekend out in that colorful city - I was ready to relax when my other friend Matthias told me he was able to get me one last ticket for the closing performance of CITY OF WHORES.
Excited to be able to see the finissage of this piece, which was said to be sold out each night, I got ready to leave for F23.
Little did I know what was about to happen & how it would change my day.
Far out in the 23rd district of Vienna - in an old coffin factory - a sold-out show with around 150 guests took their seats surrounding a broad & partially subsided stage featuring props such as a couch with webcams, a pond, piles of dirt & a stripper pole.
The Stage when black and through a sliding door smoke was blown into the room when one by one 8 people slowly stepped into the space. The music stopped abruptly, the silence was broken by a monologue by Denise Kottlett.Followed by a group performance by Aaron / Nora Scherer, Jamal Phoenix, DaDa JV, Vesper, Agnieszka Salamon, Imani Rameses, Damien Thorn und Janoushka Kamin
For the next hours I was just in awe of the amount of talent & critical texts, courageous performance these artists brought to the table.
I was challenged. I was hurt. I was rejoicing & crying. In some way, it was great that I was wearing a mask so part of my emotions was hidden from the rest of the crowd.
I can see that being "Stuck" on an Island like Bali - due to Corona - had left its marks without me realizing it & I had forgotten how amazing, strong & powerful queer culture has become in Vienna in a community that I am very proud of to call "mine".
Artists and activists around the Migrant Sex Workers Group RED EDITION invite to the show CITY OF WHORES.
The Mesopotamian (trans)-goddess INANNA meets Francis the Cock-Destroyer, who is hanging out in the legendary Café Rüdiger.
What does the Liesing streetwalk have to do with the one in Zurich? The answer is given by Camgirl <semiramis_69>, who attends a funeral in Dersim / Turkey.
We destroy the WHOREARCHY
- the "hierarchy of sex work" - with statements on the pole.
The slogan of the show is: "Nutten Gegen Fellner!"
"SEX WORKERS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS."
Sex work is researched and described in different fields: historically, politically, economically, artistically, queer-feminist. As a highly loaded and controversial topic, sex workers themselves are often excluded from the discussion. They are talked about and not talked to. In cooperation with the International conference "Red Rules Vienna" on Sexwork this breathtaking & giving performance cuts edges & is probably one of the most relevant topics in the last years.
How do we feel about Sexwork? How do we see the people who have a job in this field - With this performance, the stigmas get challenged & blurry.
Following movements like "Metoo", I think there has never been a better time to address the challenges, fear & contribution Sex workers face in our society.
It is time for them to have a voice & to be heard.
Sexwork is real work!
Funded by SHIFT - Basis.Kultur and BMKÖS- Federal Ministry for Art and Culture
Collective piece development/collage: With text contributions by:
Damien Thorn, Julischka Stengele, Darin Sahin, Aaron/Nora Scherer, Pauli, and others - as well as original texts from Betty de Shong Meador, INANNA. LADY OF LARGEST HEART, University of Texas Press 2000;
Concept/direction: Natalie Ananda Assmann,
Assistance: Anna Schall
Set design: Alexandru Cosarca
Choreography: Evandro Pedroni/Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe, Book/dramaturgy: Lisa Kärcher,
Lighting design: Joe Albrecht,
Based on an idea by Magda Woitzuck, Trajche Janushev, Lisa Kärcher and Natalie Ananda Assmann in collaboration with RED EDITION - Migrant Sex Workers Group.