Stripper and activist Edie Lamort appeals for funds to support the East London Strippers Collective’s upcoming London exhibition. Please support!
Go on, Put a Pound in the Jug!
Let me introduce the East London Strippers Collective (ELSC), that’s if you haven’t already heard of us, and tell you about our next wildly ambitious but amazing project. We have been together for about a year and a half, putting on talks and parties and generally self-organising. We are part event production team and part political organisation, with a social media following and press interest.
What are we doing? As we are all creative types, we are putting on an exhibition called the Art of Stripping, at the Red Gallery in Shoreditch, from 22nd October to Halloween. We are holding this event to celebrate the art that has been generated by the East London strip scene. The costume, the dance and the visual arts that have been created by dancers from their experiences. There will be photography, film, installations, costume and performances along with events, workshops and a closing party. Artists will include:
Millie Robson, a dancer who decided to specialise in pole dance photography and has built a flourishing business, travelling all over the world. She also won her category at this year’s Pole Theatre.
Bronwen Parker-Rhodes, a photographer and film-maker who will be showing two films and prints from her At Home project.
Vera Rodriguez, a photographer and sex worker activist who is also curating the event. She will be premiering her Performers photography project, bringing it to life with a cabaret on the opening night.
There will also be a program of events during the time we are at the gallery to educate people about our world and celebrate the talents of the dancers. These will include a fashion show, as costume is very important part of our experience, an academic symposium as we are frequently studied, a film night, the life drawing class, an opening night with the artists and pole workshops, a Stripper-wear Fair and a closing party.
Why are we doing this? For several reasons; we are visual artists, who also happen to be strippers, and want to show our art, we are creative performers who want a platform to do our thing and we wish to challenge stigma. The striptease industry that we all know and love is unfortunately in a sorry state now. This is for several reasons including recession and a very badly written and punitive law that came about in 2009. This was designed to wreck the industry and is doing exactly that, but was drawn up with no thought given to those working as dancers, our rights and working conditions were ignored. Ultimately we’d like to see this law reviewed however the first thing we have to do is combat the negative narrative around us, a tough call I’m sure you’ll agree! But what better way to do it than to run our own event celebrating our art and performance?
People talk about things being ’empowering’ and the ELSC is exactly that. We have all stepped up to the mark as producers, filmmakers, marketers, photographers, costume designers and all round businesswomen.
What can you do to help? In short, donate to our Indiegogo fund and then share it far and wide. We have 1780 plus Facebook followers and if they put a pound in the jug we’d be laughing however they don’t all get to see our posts. We are on the Facebook naughty step after having been reported for side-boob and banned twice therefore we are not allowed to advertise as we have been classified as ‘adult’. In reality our photos and shows are no more risqué than burlesque but misinformation and prejudice abounds.
You may have just read this with interest, you may click on the links (I hope you do, click away!) but whatever you do don’t just ‘like’. If you think this is a good idea contribute some money, we have a pound in the jug option if you are skint or a £1000 option if you are a fancy pants high roller, and share all over to help us beat our advertising ban.
Thank you darlings! X