x:talk project meeting - LARC 62 Fieldgate St Whitechapel - 10th Oct 7pm

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Joined: 19-03-07
Oct 1 2007 15:37
x:talk project meeting - LARC 62 Fieldgate St Whitechapel - 10th Oct 7pm

We are writing to let you know about our project, x:talk and to invite you to our next organising meeting and to get involved as we embark on the next phase of the project. Call 07914703372 or see www.xtalkproject.net for more details.

The meeting will be held on October 10th at 7pm in LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street Whitechapel (for directions to LARC see www.londonarc.org.uk).

x:talk is a project involving sex-workers and allies, for sex-workers. The goal of the project is to deliver free English language classes to workers in the sex industry. We focus on language because we believe that being able to speak some English is an important step in asserting our needs, desires and rights at work and in our lives. Through speaking a common language we are better able to come together, organise and empower each other. It means we can talk with clients, health services and our bosses.

Through the development of our language skills and confidence building, our aim is to promote the improvement of working conditions in sex work, as well as the right to change work and not to be forced to stay with the same employer.

x:talk aims to create an open and critical space to collectively organise and empower workers in the sex industry and to encourage and support critical interventions into discourses about gender, labour, migration and human rights. The project is a conscious effort to make contact with migrant sex workers communities, offer a practical and needed service and ultimately attempt to build political alliances and strengthen migrant sex worker networks.

In May 2007 we were able to launch a pilot x:talk English class, with a small grant from the Feminist Review Trust. The weekly two-hour classes were held at a sex worker health project in west London, and ran for twelve weeks in total. The women were of mixed language backgrounds (Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Russian, and Italian) and of mixed language level, ranging from beginners to intermediate. In order to deliver lessons from which all the women would benefit, the two teachers (both with sex industry experience) and two volunteer teaching assistants focussed on language which is necessarily or helpful for working in the sex industry. Lessons included topics such as: finding a new place to work, defining what services you do and do not do, dealing with problematic clients, sexual health and conversational skills with clients.

The course was a powerful and enriching experience for all of us and upon evaluation a success amongst the students.

Still, there is a lot that we want to improve and expand upon. We want to be able to organise more classes in a shorter space of time and deliver different level language classes.

Although our first course was open to sex-workers of all genders, we ended up having a female-only group of transgender and non-transgender women. This worked very well because the teachers (both females with sex-work experience) shared the knowledge of a gender-specific, sex-work related language. Hence, we would like to launch an additional course for men and transgender men sex-workers, which would deal with a language more relevant to the market they/we work in.

We invite sex-workers and allies of all genders and sexualities to come to our meeting to share and discuss ideas and tasks!

all the best,

the x:talk crew wink

Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
Joined: 17-07-06
Oct 1 2007 17:20

This sounds really interesting...

pingtiao's picture
Joined: 9-10-03
Oct 1 2007 17:37

Yeah it does. Good luck with it camille.