Indonesia: Life Turns Upside Down for Prostitutes

June 21, 2009
Dalih Sembiring

Mira works breaking up stones to be used in construction during the day and as a prostitute by night. (Photo: Arief Priyono, JG)

On Friday, at 5 a.m., Nia Dinata temporarily abandoned her role as mentor at a documentary film workshop in Yogyakarta to head east in a rental car. She was seeking answers to a problem that had been troubling her for days.

“I’m going to meet the bupati [district head] of Tulungagung to discuss the local government’s abrupt decision to close down the red-light district on Bolo Hill,” she said. Nia is the producer of “Pertaruhan” (“At Stake”), an anthology of four documentaries about Indonesian women. One of the films, “Ragate Anak” (“For the Sake of Children”), addresses the decade-old sex trade at the Bolo Hill Chinese cemetery, which was shut down by the government of Tulungagung district, East Java Province, on June 4. Continue reading


Michell Pfeiffer reclaiming cinematic stake with Cheri

Weekend June 19-21, 2009

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Michell Pfeiffer plays an ageing courtesan in Cheri.

For Michelle Pfeiffer picking roles carefully has paid off well. Not only has her discretion afforded the soft-spoken actress a lengthy career in Hollywood but decent scripts have led to three Oscar nominations, including one for Dangerous Liaisons.

It may not be surprising then that after not appearing on film since 2007, Pfeiffer is reclaiming her cinematic stake by re-teaming with the filmmaking duo behind that aforementioned film — scribe Christopher Hampton and director Stephen Frears. Continue reading

Ever worked as a sex worker in NSW? Take a survey!

NSW Sex Workers who provide services to clients with a disability–

You are invited to participate in a unique research project focussing on NSW sex workers who provide services to clients with a disability.  If you are currently, or have previously worked, in NSW as a sex worker then you are eligible to participate.

Participation involves an anonymous questionnaire which should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is available on-line at:
Continue reading

Porn star dishes on Girlfriend Experience

Weekend June 19-21, 2009

Porn sensation Sasha Grey stars in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience.

The protagonist of Steven Soderbergh’s new film The Girlfriend Experience is a poised young escort who services New York’s philandering elite with uncommon élan.

Blankly charming and immaculately coiffed, Chelsea (Sasha Grey) is a strange and eminently 21st century creature — the call girl as image-conscious entrepreneur. Chelsea’s precociousness as both a sex object and a self-promoter gains credibility by Grey’s own back story: At the ripe old age of 21, the California-born performer is already a before-her-time legend in the porn industry and a mild pop cultural phenomenon. Continue reading

Canada: Most in DTES OK with legal prostitution, says survey

Weekend June 19-21, 2009

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STUDY — Adult prostitution should be decriminalized, according to 67 per cent of residents and business owners in the Downtown Eastside and Strathcona neighbourhoods.

The Simon Fraser University online survey of 122 participants — 91 residents, 27 business owners, four didn’t indicate a group — offered a rare glimpse of public opinion from the Vancouver neighbourhoods most affected by street prostitution. Continue reading