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Inside Outside

the sex industry in Scotland

Inside Outside – we have lift off!

The project has started….  Different services from the Encompass Network (https://www.facebook.com/Encompass-Network-1065509953531923/)  have been in touch saying that they have spoken with women and some are keen to take part in the Inside Outside project.  A lot of meetings and alot of coffee being consumed  up to now ( and no doubt much more to come!)

The next stage is to line up the 1-1 interviews with the women as well as planning the workshops. It will be a busy few months ahead but so exciting to meet the women, hear their stories and support them in telling these through photos.

Featured post

busy busy busy

WP_20170621_13_28_19_ProIts a frenzy of framing, photocopying, cutting, taping and scrabbling around here today.

 

Thanks to the lovely Cat who has volunteered and is standing over a wonky photocopier as I type.

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Kelly and Anni are on it as well.  The Porters are primed and ready for action early tomorrow and a small group of volunteers are ready for the install.

 

We WILL be ready for tomorrow and I hope #insideoutsidestrathclyde   #insideoutsideuos does the women’s work credit!

Something to tide you over

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(photo Paul Mallick Dunde Courier 2017)

The whirlwind continues and there is so much to catch up with and process after yesterday and yet more learning.

Katie has already written her blog about yesterday and no doubt there will be other blogs to follow to capture other thoughts and perspectives too but in the meantime –

Dundee Courier Article

 

 

 

 

 

New views & positive futures!

 

katie blog pic june 17

Recently I have learnt to look at my story in a whole new light! I may not be proud of the things I have done and the paths I have walked. There have definitely been detours or scenic routes in my life. Many scenes I do not want to see again, but I was told this “There’s nothing wrong with your past as long as you’re a better person now and having something like that to remind you of what has been will keep your mind focused on what’s on ahead.”

Today has been an especially powerful and emotional day! I went to Dundee to see the project in all of its beauty! And wow what a powerful thing it is to see!

Quite surreal actually, no one knowing who I am and that my pictures are on that wall. My story is in that book you’re going to read.

Linda’s speech was very moving and at a few moments during it I could feel myself tearing up! Both Linda and Kathryn have been a fantastic inspiration and support for me, putting my parts together for this project and I cannot thank them enough! I truly believe if it was not for the project I would not be where I am today striding forward to a positive future!

If you have not been to see the project face to face please do. It is such an amazing and unique experience.

 

Katie x

 

Introducing Wendy

We are so so so pleased to introduce you to Wendy. Her story and pictures are now in the online book.

“I am in my early thirties.

I first became involved in the sex industry in my early twenties and was in street prostitution until my late twenties.

I have exited the sex industry for over 3 years and I have no plans to return.

I love my home and it is my safe space for me and my son. I love spending time with him and our dog – we are a tight wee family unit.

I am now studying and on placement.  I love reading and finding out new information.

I want to finish college and want a career helping other women with addictions or experiences in the sex industry.”

We are sure you will learn so much from her and her story.

http://www.insideoutsidescotland.info/wendy.html

Thank you Wendy.

 

 

 

On tour…

This is it.  The big week and big day have finally arrived.

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We launch in 2 places this week – the foyer at Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee and the Insight Gallery at the Collins Building at Strathclyde University.

There has been a flurry of activity for the past few weeks and especially over the weekend to get set up. The painting of plinths, the hanging of pictures, the measuring and adjusting, the standing back assessing.  Kathryn has been working away with every detail covered and now it is here.

To say we are excited is accurate, to say we are nervous is even truer.

To put yourself forward for scrutiny is an intimidating thing. To offer your work up for viewing is a brave step.

Today, we put ourselves and the women’s work out there for others.  We hope we have done Natalia, Wendy, Katie, Levi, Natasha, Sarah Jane and Joanne proud.

 

We have also been getting ready for Glasgow in Strathclyde University.  It’s a whole different exhibition with more areas and items, all focusing on the realities inside the sex industry.  We will have only 3.5 hours for install which will be a …challenge.

Ahead of that – a Friday evening was spent with 200 masks and getting them ready.  Who’d have thought piercing them could be such a relaxing experience.   It was quite surreal to see them slowly stacking up, one on top of the other, layer  upon layer to create a whole different perspective.

 

It made me think of a conversation with a support worker last week who talked about how each and every day women are advertised online, with new faces being brought into cities across Scotland.  It made me think of Levi saying that No, punters don’t know her, know nothing about her and Katie saying that when you are new, everyone wants a piece of you bit of you the “fresh meat” ( her words).

The conveyer belt that is the sex industry.

 

Boundaries are funny things

Boundaries are funny things.

We have boundaries in everything we do.  Sometimes we stick to them, sometimes push them and sometimes smash through them spectacularly!

Throughout my time within the sex industry I have always had my boundaries set and have been strong minded (hard faced to some people) to stick to them.

When new girls start that was always my first thing to say to them “Have your boundaries set, customers try to push them to break you! This job is hard enough without having to do stuff that you are not comfortable with just to please a person who doesn’t care the slightest for you or your well being!”

As Linda has previously blogged about there was supposed to be an interview with a radio station and yet again we’re back to boundaries.

These ‘professional’ people who have read our stories and apparently understand and respect us with our choice to speak out through the project want to push to get the juicey gorey details to what they thought I should speak on. They clearly didn’t get the memo that this project is not about them it is about the women!

I’m so proud of the fact both myself and Linda stood our ground.

End of the day it is their loss!

Thankyou for continuing to read our blog and follow our stories!

 

Katie x

You are in control….

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(photo – Inside Outside 2017)

I cannot let today go past without a mention.

A truly special session with Wendy – she is pretty amazing and I know you will all be in awe of her when you really get to meet her and hear her story.

I have spent some time with Wendy and actually have probably spent longer with her story!   Each time, I learn something new and know there is much more I can learn from her.

Wendy – we are incredibly lucky you have joined us on this adventure.  I think you have a steadying hand and heart! 😉

 

That’s the media, darling……

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(Silenced by tauruz427 on Deviantart)

 

Its hard to tell your story and put it out for public view and scrutiny.

Its not always safe, as you never know quite how people will react and in the heady days of social media – there is nearly always some form of a backlash.

I still chant “Do NOT read the comments” when any piece I have been involved in goes out in the media and deliberately avoid certain corners of twitter and the toxic rabbit holes created.

One of the reasons why we developed Inside Outside was to find a SAFE way for women to tell of their experiences and realities inside and outside of the sex industry.  Ways in which they could be truthful and honest and feel in control to share what they wanted, when they wanted.  We have worked long and hard to preserve their anonymity whilst still giving them the freedom to have an ongoing input.   This blog has been one way, their photos another and of course the book with their stories.

Isn’t it ironic that this isn’t enough.

I have been linking with one popular Scottish programme listened to by many many people every day, to do a feature about Inside Outside.  Talks had been underway on and off for 3 months and I was always clear and upfront that the women had to be at the heart of this all.  They should be able to choose what they would answer and it shouldn’t be a live interview as they should have the control over it. Katie and myself had drawn the boundaries around what would happen and felt good to go.

Sadly the planned feature has now been pulled as they want a live interview and to ask what they want about her time Inside the sex industry. Apparently “the item wouldn’t stand without someone talking in a personal capacity.”   She was going to talk in a personal capacity but obviously not on what THEY wanted her to so it is no longer a goer.  If we were to go with what they wanted- then fine, a show would be made.

As Katie said – “I think we should pull out.  That’s delving too deep.   They are clearly not clued in to the fact that being inside the sex industry is a traumatic experience thousands of women and men go through – its not like reading a made up story in a book.  Very thoughtless of them really.”

So the control is back with us and I am glad we would not bend to their wishes.  As I said to Katie – “It’s their loss”

No doubt there will be yet another programme on very soon extolling the positive aspects of the sex industry featuring the same voices and stories heard many times before.

It is a shame for Katie and for the other women.   Their precious minutes in the media wont happen or at least wont happen at the moment.  There are other talks underway with other outlets and hopefully the people involved there will take on board just how hard it is to speak out and have your story heard.

 

 

 

53,687 words

53,687 words

That’s how many there are in the first draft of Wendy’s transcript.

That is how many we will now work through to edit it down to the final version she will share with you in the near future.

I went through the transcripts last night and again first thing this morning.

I can hear her voice and see her face.   It feels like she is here beside me again and we are right in the middle of her story.   Reading it again has made me smile, wince and shake my head.     I am not some kind of emotional cyborg that just coldly presses a record button and remains stone like whilst the women tell their stories.  Of course I feel connected and rightly so.

 

Wendy, Kathryn and I meet again tomorrow.  She has sent the first of her photos through already.   I gasped when I saw them.  I think you might too.

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