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Fighting Back: Beijo da Rua reports powerful response to censorship from prostitutes involved in HIV prevention campaign

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  Today, Davida’s newspaper, Beijo da Rua,  reported an exciting turn of events in the protests and mobilization against the Minister of Health’s decision to veto and then drastically alter the HIV prevention campaign for prostitutes: sex workers involved in the campaign will send cease and desist letters to the Ministry of Health, revoking their releases and demanding the immediate suspension of the posters with their images. In their letters, prostitutes “allege radical changes in the original campaign, which rather …

Statement from the Brazilian Network of Prostitutes about censorship and the federal government’s intervention and alteration of the AIDS prevention campaign

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[This statement from The Brazilian Network of Prostitutes is translated from the original Portuguese and a response to yesterday’s re-release of a drastically altered STI and HIV prevention campaign by the Ministry of Health. This is the most recent in a series of events of censorship of materials produced for and by prostitutes in Brazil. Please see our earlier blog post for more background and the original materials produced and responses from specific sex worker NGOs. Click on the language to …

Statements from Prostitute NGOs in Brazil Repudiating the Government’s Decision to Censor the Campaign

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[Translations of statements circulated on June 5th from sex worker organizations in Brazil. See Portuguese here] Statement repudiating the government’s decision from the Pernambuco Association of Sex Workers – APPS June 5, 2013 The Pernambuco Association of Sex Workers – APPS, founded on October 17, 2002, publically repudiates the abusive and politically backward attitude of the Minister of Health in his decision to remove the publicity campaign with Brazilian prostitutes who participated in workshops offered by the Ministry itself in …

No shame in sharing the campaign censored by Brazil’s Minister of Health

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Brazil’s government was once internationally recognized as a leader in terms of supporting model HIV prevention programs and defending sexual rights. However, the events of the past week provide yet another example that the situation in this country has drastically changed. On June 4th, Brazil’s Minister of Health, Alexandre Padilha, ordered that a poster reading, “I’m happy being a prostitute,” be removed from the Department of STD/AIDS’s website. The poster was one element of a larger campaign entitled Without Shame …

Celebrating June 2: International Whores Day

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  International Whores Day was declared by the prostitute rights movement to honor the 150 prostitutes who occupied the Saint-Nizier church in Lyon, France, on June 2nd, 1975. They were protesting against fines, unwarranted arrests, and the police’s disinterest and irresponsibility in solving murders and crimes committed against them. The church leaders and Lyon population supported their protest and gave them protection and the occupation was transmitted through various communication means of the time all over the world. The women …

Freeing Marcia Powell: events challenging prisons in Arizona

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This week people in Phoenix  will be remembering the death of Marcia Powell, a woman who was serving a 27 months sentence–more than 2 years–in an Arizona state prison for “solicitation” of prostitution. On May 19, 2009 corrections officers left Marcia in a metal cage in the burning sun without water or shade for more than four hours. Temperatures soared to more than 107 degrees fahrenheit (42 degrees celsius). After Marcia collapsed, she was taken to a hospital where the Director …

Thank you kisses to Kansas, New York and Arizona!

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    A KISS FOR GABRIELA is just back from an amazing three week tour in the United States for the film première and a series of fantastic screenings and discussions with activists, students, academics, and filmmakers that ended with a grand finale with seeing the name of the film on the Tucson, Arizona screening room’s famous marquee. The trip started at the Kansas City FilmFest in Kansas City, MO, where it was part of the national and international short …

“I dare you to open your mind”: An Open Letter from the Incredible, Edible, Akynos to Rakhi Kumar

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This last week in the United States the appearance of Beyonce in a sheer, sequinned body suit has lead to an outpouring of discussion about what is appropriate clothing befitting a “role model”, a parent and a female performer. One writer, Rakhi Kumar, posted An Open Letter to Michelle Obama protesting the performer’s choice of costume (and challenging the respect shown to her by Michelle Obama) because “[v]ariations of Beyonce’s body suit can be found in brothels, strip clubs, and red …

A Kiss for Gabriela from Queens College

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On Tuesday, April 17th, A Kiss for Gabriela had a fantastic showing at Queens College.  Sponsored by the Latin American and Latino Studies Department, The Women’s Studies Department, and the student organization, GLASA – Gay Lesbian and Straight Alliance, we were all impressed with the students’ questions, interest, and energy. After the screening, several students took the time to send Gabriela a kiss! The wind was so strong, we think it may have even blown to her in Rio de …

Kisses from Princeton

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A KISS FOR GABRIELA screened at Princeton University last night in an event sponsored by the Comparative Literature and the Spanish and Portuguese Departments.   Inspired by the beauty of Princeton’s campus, journalist and Davida co-founder Flavio Lenz, and director Laura Murray took advantage to send a kiss to Gabriela themselves! YouTube Flavio a true journalist, filmed the “Making of” Laura’s kiss to Gabriela: YouTube After showing the film, Laura, Flavio, SWOP-NYC member Penelope Saunders and Mariana Assis discussed the …