Operation Snatch

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Location

Toronto
Canada
Contact email: 
alextigchelaar@gmail.com
Who do you work with?: 
Cisgender and transgender females, cisgender and transgender males who are sex workers with an art practice and sex worker allies with an art practice.
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?: 
We are a sex worker run multidisciplinary theatre company. Sex workers are both hired to perform and are also represented from an experiential point of view in our work. We consider our theatre a platform for social activism as we are sex workers representing sex workers.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?: 
Critique the trafficking paradigm that conflates representations of sex work, migration, and mobility
Speak out about violence against sex workers, including violence from police, institutions, clients, and intimate partners, while challenging the myth that sex work is inherently gender-based violence
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
Advocate for the economic empowerment and social inclusion of sex workers as sex workers
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face: 
We are stigmatised and criminalised and currently members are banned from US travel for being "known prostitutes". This of course, limits our opportunities to bring our work to the States. Like most sex workers, we struggle to have our work perceived as work and now, in our country, we are facing even more criminalisation with bill C36. We are also challenged by non-sex worker created representations of us in the arts and media and struggle to be seen as legitimate agents of our own stories.
Describe other areas of your work: 
Community engagement with sex workers, teaching techniques fo creative actions and resistance. I (Alex) often give talks to CEGEP and university classes and show our work and I am always available to engage with other sex workers in creative resistance that goes beyond community events and reaches non-sex working audiences in effective and affective ways.