Tuesday 31 December 2019

And The Door Opened: the Launch, November 25th, 2019

'And the Door Opened' launched, (officiall,) on November 25th, to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Held in the old Post Office in Wood Green, now occupied by Collage-arts and renamed Collage Artspace 4, we had a full house - 53 people came not including speakers or photographer.

Me speaking, introducing the project and welcoming the audience. Speakers on the left, from left: Caroline Hattersley, director of Women @the Well; Fiona Broadfoot, sex trade survivor, founder of Build a Girl, and one of three survivors bringing the judicial review, with the Centre for Women's Justice, to get criminal convictions removed from the record exited women; Julie Bindel, journalist, researcher and campaigner and author of The Pimping of Prostitution,' 2017, Palgrave Macmillan; and next to Julie Bindel is Julie McNamara who compered and led us into the minute's silence before I smashed the pot in the centre of the room. She also ended the event reading Audre Lourde's 'Litany for Survival.' McNamara is a performer, writers, activist and Artist direct of Vital Exposure, 'a passionate plea for social justice.'  Below is a montage of three views of pot then called 'Ten Thousand Men,' that was smashed. It will be renamed once it is rebuilt and images of the women painted inside become dominant.

The images of me smashing the pot and the two below them are by Sylvain Deleu, as is the one directly above, showing a detail of the inside of the pot smashed at the Filia Conference in Bradford. This pot is now called, 'I'm Not The Criminal,' and the image is of Fiona Broadfoot who led the March Against the Sex Trade in Bradford where the pot was smashed. The other images show the pots on display at the event, some complete, some in progress. All photos by attendees - except the one with Fiona Broadfoot talking to journalist, Josephine Bartosch - that one is also by Sylvian Deleu.

Women @the Well, (W@W,) is a women-only service located in Kings Cross dedicated to supporting women whose lives are affected, or at risk of being affected by prostitution, and helps them to find ways out.

‘And The Door Opened, is a series of events with displays of Claudia’s pots, with talks and demonstrations that illustrate the lives of the women supported by W@W.

The aim is to enhance the public’s understanding of what prostitution is, to name the abuse and exploitation, and to show that, with the right support, girls and women do not need to live and die exploited in the sex trade – there are ways out.

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