We have begun a collaboration with the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) which is based in Crossroads Women's Centre in Kentish Town, London, focusing on the experience of mothers who are also sex workers.
Mothers have been organising within the framework of ECP since it was set up in the 70s, to support each other through campaigns and actions such as the 1982 occupation of Holy Cross Church in Kings Cross. Their banner from the occupation reads: ‘Mothers Need Money. End Police Illegality and Racism in Kings Cross’. In the UK today over 4.2 million children live in poverty and ECP estimate that 70% of sex workers are mothers, mostly single mothers. Yet their experiences are frequently overlooked and undervalued, they are rarely even recognised as carers or maternal figures. During the development of 'Workers!' – our previous collaboration with sex-worker led organisation Scot-Pep, in Edinburgh – we learnt of the many challenges sex workers face when speaking out publicly in a context defined by polarising ideological divisions, stigma, criminalsation and violence. All sex workers face risks in demanding rights and better conditions, but these risks are felt acutely by the most vulnerable often single mothers, migrants, and/or undocumented workers.
Our collaboration is taking shape around a series of conversations between mums at ECP. We have developed an approach together, inspired by oral history and community video, whereby ECP and the mums are in control of their own stories.
Part of: Looking for Jeanne