Book Launch: Truth and Lies (London)
Book Launch: Truth and Lies (London)
Welcome all to an evening extravaganza celebrating the London launch of Truth & Lies: an Anthology of Writing and Art by Sex Workers
Expect slutty DJs, playful performances, stripper poles, rococo cakes, union broads and intimate readings…
Then party in the name of sex worker liberation!
Book FREE tickets here
Join the LIVE STREAM on 25th Nov 7:30-9:15pm here
Doors open @ 7.15pm
7.30pm – 11pm
Curtains reveal – speakers from the Sex Workers Union & National Ugly Mugs.
Our MC Venus introduces our fierce readers for the night – anthology contributors:
- Marin Scarlett
- Lib Lobberson
- ZuZu Gabrielli
Followed by a sparkle of:
- Maedb Joy
- Black Venus
- Chao-Ying Betty Rao
Then buy books, chat and hit the dance floor with DJ bogan.bitch
Bar (payment required) provided by Conway Hall.
Books will be available to purchase on the night (£15 per copy all proceeds raised going to NUMbrella Lane) or online via AK Press (UK)
About the Book
Truth and Lies: An Anthology of Writing and Art by Sex Workers emerges as part of a rising tide of sex worker art and organised struggle to end criminalisation and stigmatisation of sex work. The book, published in 2022, features work by 13 artists with lived experience of sex work. Following a public callout, the final pieces were selected by a panel of sex workers and the book produced by Numbrella Lane, National Ugly Mugs and Arika.Read
Marin Scarlett Marin Scarlett is a writer, artist and activist. She is the Campaign and Communications Officer with the European Sex Workers’ Rights Alliance and an Outreach Worker with the sex worker support project at Spectra London. She has previously worked with violence prevention charity National Ugly Mugs and sex worker wellbeing project Umbrella Lane. Marin lives in London under the rule of a feline despot named Amber
Lib Lobberson – a basic bogan bitch, Australia born and raised but Glasgow settled. She has spent the last 10 years divided between her great loves: sex work, art, music and pints. She originally migrated to Scotland for a degree and stayed for love but when that didn’t work out, became deeply immersed in the thriving art and music community. She project-managed various exhibitions and began work in music promotion and management, all funded by the fruits of her pussy. Her work explores the highs and lows of womens’ experiences and aims to demystify the world of sex work. She has previously published work in sex worker zines and has a piece in the Glasgow Women’s Library.
ZuZu Gabrielli, I’m a 33-year-old Canadian sex worker currently residing in Europe. I’ve been in the industry for over six years and it is my main form of income. I am vocal about sex worker’s rights, but seek to uplift a realistic, non-glamorized vision of the job. Sex work has given me a lot, and it has taken away. Writing is a passion of mine and I hope to eventually complete a book of my experiences. My submission is a fragment of this, with some differing elements. Thank you for compiling this work.
Maedb Joy is a poet, writer and theatre maker making work about sex work, class and womanhood. Alumni of Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Court Playwriting group, her credits include: BBC, Bishopsgate Institute, VAULT Festival, Camden’s People Theatre and more.
She is also the founder and artistic director of Sexquisite Events, and co-founder of Riot Party. Both events are committed to creating paid creative opportunities for sex workers and impacting meaningful change through art and entertainment.
Black Venus is a sex worker, martial artist, writer and performer whose work explores themes of power, subversion, deviance and feminism. She is founder of Sex and Rage, a sex worker and activist organisation resisting stigma and shame through sex education.
Chao-Ying Betty Rao evolved as a teenage runaway and a high school dropout who started modelling and stripping as a way to keep afloat. Now she is an interdisciplinary artist whose previous experiences in the sex industry heavily influence her practice. Chao-Ying graduated from her BA(Hons) in 2020 from the Glasgow School of Art, in Painting and Printmaking. She holds an MA(Hons) in Philosophy and English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and campaigns with local organisations for the full decriminalisation of sex work.
The Sex Workers Union
The Sex Workers Union fights to improve working conditions, protect rights, and end discrimination.The Sex Workers Union (SWU) is a branch of sex workers in the UK, organising with BAFWU for better working conditions and fighting to change the industry from within. .SWU works with sex workers across the UK to improve conditions through collective negotiation and individual casework. Our union provides members with legal assistance, healthcare services, and training opportunities to improve their working conditions and advance their careers. We also strive to create a sense of community and solidarity among sex workers, so that they can support one another and work together towards a common goal. We organise to establish ‘worker’ status, which will enable those working in clubs to claim basic rights at work, such as annual leave, sick pay, a guaranteed basic wage and the right to organise and be represented by a trade union. The sex workers unionisation campaign is organised in partnership with x:talk, a sex workers support project and in conjunction with Decrim Now, the campaign for the full decriminalisation of all sex work.
National Ugly Mugs
National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a UK-wide survivor support charity aiming to end all forms of violence against sex workers. They provide a reporting and alerting system, checker tools, specialist casework support, mental health support, financial support and support for sex workers wishing to leave or change their financial reliance on sex work. They take a rights-based and justice-orientated approach to their work, which places the needs and lived experiences of sex workers at its core.
NUMbrella Lane is NUM’s in-person wellbeing centre in Glasgow, providing a community space for sex workers in Scotland. The venue hosts regular drop ins, wellbeing events, group outings, a food pantry, a library, and health and harm reduction supplies. It is a welcoming, friendly space where sex workers can connect with one another, share resources and support each other in a respectful, understanding and affirming environment.
Attending & Tickets
The event is free but ticketed. Book your ticket for in person attendance on Eventbrite.
There will be a livestream available on 25th Nov between 7:30pm-9:15pm here.
Detailed access information for this event is available here.
- The venue has step free access and is wheelchair accessible
- STTR (live captioning) at the event.
- Separate quiet space.
- There will be an active listener available as part of our Safer Spaces provision.
- We have a limited Audience Travel and Childcare/ Carer Support Fund, see the access page for more details.
Getting to Conway Hall
Full & detailed travel information is available on the Conway Hall website.
25 Red Lion Square,
Route 98 comes via Oxford Street and terminates in Red Lion Square. Routes 19, 38, 55 and 243 pass by the Theobalds Road entrance to the Hall. Any bus to Holborn, Grays Inn Road or Southampton Row/Kingsway comes close to Conway Hall.
Holborn Station (Central and Piccadilly lines) is approximately five minutes’ walk away. Also within reasonable walking distance are Chancery Lane (Central line) and Russell Square (Piccadilly line).
Thanks to the all the artists and our project partners the Sex Workers Union and National Ugly Mugs for their dedication and hard work on this project and event.
We’d also like to thank Conway Hall staff for their support.
Live Captions (STTR)
There will be live stage to text captioning at the event. The clearest sightlines for this will be in the downstairs seating area.
Live Stage to Text Reporting (STTR) involves the verbatim transcription of dialogue into text form as it is spoken live. Text is displayed as captions on a screen within the space.
Conway Hall’s Main Hall ground floor section – where the majority of the seating is – is step free and wheelchair accessible. However seating on the upper balcony is only available via one flight of stairs.
The Brockway Room where the quiet space will be located is step free and wheelchair accessible.
Wheelchair accessible toilets are available close to the ground section of the Main Hall.
Audience Travel and Childcare/ Carer Support Fund
We understand that for some people attending events can be difficult due to the costs of transport and caring costs such as childcare. We have limited funds available to support with local travel and caring costs:
- Support for local travel costs (via bus, subway or train) will be available for people who need. Cash reimbursement will be provided on the night. Approach anyone with a SWU, NUMbrella lane or Arika lanyard.
- There is a limited fund to cover childcare / carer / support worker costs (care to be arranged by the carer). This will be distributed on a first come first served basis. If you need to access this fund, please contact Cloudberry via firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a separate quiet space available in the Brockway Room room – a place with lower lighting, ear defenders and some adult colouring books.
Arika, S.W.U. and N.U.M. share a commitment to the provision of gender neutral toilets and we support all people to use the bathroom facilities that they feel most comfortable using. On the ground floor there are toilets with signage identifying those with urinals and stalls and also with stalls only. There is also a single room bathroom designed for wheelchair access, designated as suitable for all genders.
Safer Space & Active Listener
This event has a Safer Spaces Policy which is available to read here.
There will be an Active Listener offering support during this event. The Active Listener will be identified at the start of the event. The support offered might be to listen and hear what someone wants to share about an experience or to offer brief emotional support if they have been particularly triggered. Personal matters shared with the Active Listener will be held in confidence – more general feedback about the event/s itself will be shared within the Sex Worker Union, Arika and N.U.M. teams and reflected upon.
Additional Access Requests
If you’d like to come but something makes that difficult for you, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with Cloudberry via email@example.com