Decriminalised Futures is a collaborative project using creative tools to explore a broad range of topics impacting on the lives of sex workers.
Our emphasis is on supporting artwork and popular education that speaks to a multiplicity of sex worker experiences; intersects with sex worker rights; and connects with broader social, labour and movement struggles. The project is lead by organisers and artists from SWARM (Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance Movement), in partnership with Arika and supported by the ICA.
In 2019, organisers from SWARM curated a three day festival to celebrate the group’s ten year anniversary. That festival lay the groundwork for this project. The event was an opportunity to reflect on SWARM’s history and achievements, building on the community-based organising work done over the past decade. It was also an occasion to continue discovering and exploring the connections between the sex worker rights movement and other struggles. Throughout the weekend more than 400 people gathered to create a radical and uplifting feminist space. Over 90 different speakers, artists, activists, academics, researchers, sex workers, poets & organisers shared ideas, discussion and knowledge. We built collaboration and loving solidarity, educated each other, and had fun. That work continues today.
Decriminalised Futures has a strong emphasis on movement-building. Through creative interventions and popular education, we aim to highlight the ways in which sex workers rights are inextricably linked to struggles for racial justice, migrant rights, anti-austerity work, labour right, trans rights, and many other movements and campaigns. By bringing together artists and organisers from a wide range of backgrounds, we hope to produce accessible political and creative work, events and education. Our goal is to celebrate creative expression of all kinds as a tool for deeper solidarity between global social justice struggles.
Over the next few years, we will be supporting the creation of new artwork, holding exhibitions, panel discussions and workshops, facilitating reading groups, and producing resources which highlight a range of sex worker experiences. Our priority is on embracing the messy complexity of sex workers’ lives and histories, while also contextualising these experiences in broader political and social moments.
The project will culminate in a multi-day conference, bringing together and building off of the work and collaborations produced in the preceding years. To keep up to date with events and resources please join our mailing list.