On the 2nd of April 2013, from 3 to 5pm at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, Singapore will be joining a group of sex worker organizations from ASEAN for the launch of an art exhibition that seeks to highlight the stigma and discrimination that sex workers around the world face.
This network of sex worker organizations was spearheaded by Empower Thailand, and it is called Sex Workers of ASEAN or SWASEAN. Participating countries include Malaysia, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Timor Leste and Singapore.
Dhivithra Melwani—a sex worker from Singapore, has created an artwork using henna paint to depict the life of a sex worker who managed to find love in her life with someone who does not discriminate her work. Due to the henna, the artwork smells like the streets of Little India, and would give the audience a scent of what life is like in Singapore.
Representing Singapore at the exhibition will be members of Project X — Ms Vanessa Ho and Ms Sonia.
About Project X
Project X is an initiative that advocates and fights for sex workers’ rights in Singapore. We believe that sex work is a legitimate form of work and that sex workers should not be criminalized alongside murderers and thieves. As such, we aim to raise awareness of the realities of sex workers—of the physical, verbal and psychological abuse that they face on a daily basis. To do so, volunteers of Project X walk the streets of various red light districts weekly. We befriend sex workers, listen to their stories, find out about their needs, as well as document the abuses. We then hold regular public education events to raise awareness of the issues.