visual sociology

Fear and Loathing of Social Media ...

I have a passionate love/hate relationship with social media, I like the interconnections and sharing of knowledge and being part of a community, I enjoy sharing photographic knowledge and connecting with sex workers, academics and those who are passionate about photography but I loath the surveillant nature and the expectations that exist about free entertainment and access to free content. I am stuck in this Generation X hell of a pre and the existence of the post-internet world where I remember what it was like pre-internet and I am hankering for a nostalgic world of not being connected. I know better though than to believe the world was a better place without the internet. I thoroughly enjoy interviewing 20-year-old research subjects who know no other world than a web-based one. Who for them there is no offline and online self, it's all the same self. I have endless arguments in my head about what is it that I am doing on social media, I find the gaze of men unsettling and I have given twitter and Instagram the arse on more than one occasion. It's the first thing I ditch when I'm pissed off at the world. I have had more than one man tell me my twitter feed is not as entertaining as it was three years ago when I was tweeting about the practice of sex work, or men lamenting that I don't post erotic content or I talk about photography too much or men telling me they'd never want to meet me or I am too outspoken, too sarcastic, too something that does not fit the norm of how a woman is supposed to act online.

So, I locked my account before I jumped ship to Paris and did some webs soul searching. I don't want to give up my social media accounts, but nor can I use it the way I have been, so I have decided to turn my feeds into a nirvana of photography knowledge, after all, it's not like I do not know what I am talking about, I hold a Masters Degree in Photography and I am a second-year PhD student in photography. So, from today, this morning actually at about 7.30am my twitter feed is now solely about la vie photographique and everything photography related. Just making the decision makes me feel so much better, I feel like I am reclaiming my little bit on the webs. I also need to fund my photographic research, so I kindly ask that anyone wishing to access my social media accounts then please donate £25, you can use the button below and I'll add you to my social media network.

I look forward to flooding the interwebs with photography knowledge. I understand that this may not suit everyone's idea of the way we are meant to use social media but regrettably, I need to fund my research and I cannot do that unless I monetise my time online.

Social Media Access

Research Participants ...

I am undertaking doctoral research that is providing a critical analysis of the way full-service sex workers use photographic self-representation in online spaces.

Doctoral Research

To civilians situated outside of the Institute of sex work, the posting of visual content by sex workers on social media platforms may appear to simply be the posting of pornographic content in order to attract male buyers of sex, the danger in categorising the photographs of sex workers posted online as nothing more than sexually explicit marketing content is that it leads to the misunderstanding of complex intentions as to why full-service sex workers post self-portraits and portraits online rendering sex workers vulnerable to online censorship and persecution by those who seek to deny sex workers the right to participate in online visual platforms.

The visual stereotyping through art, media and cinema acts as a blindfold that enables people to forget that sex workers are individual human beings like everyone else. Through my research,  I wish to provide an alternative visual discourse that challenges that response to the visual landscape of sex work that sees sex workers as ripe for ‘rescue’.

I am looking for sex workers with current or past lived experience of full service sex work who would like to participate in my research endeavour, Whoretography: Sex Workers as Image-Makers. There are many ways to be involved, from being interviewed to submitting photographs or just putting into words the way you use photography.

Get in touch if you'd like to know more!

You are more than welcome to follow (sex workers only please) to follow my doctoral research twitter account: @Whoretography

Read the research website: www.sexworkersasimagemakers.squarespace.com - please note that this site is password protected, for the password please contact me. It is due to go live at the end of June.

If you enjoy my writings about photography then please support my doctoral research, thank you!