• Image of Red Light Dark Room

In early 2010 photographer Gemma-Rose Turnbull was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Connections Residency to do a residency with non-profit organisation St Kilda Gatehouse to teach, photograph and interview street sex workers. Red Light Dark Room; Sex, Lives & Stereotypes is a participatory project, which became a photographic exhibition and book.

Street-based sex work, which involves the trading of sexual services for money or drugs at the street level, can be a hazardous and stressful occupation. People engaged in street-based sex work can be marginalised, and stigmatised by their occupation. The project participants faced daily challenges, including physical and sexual assaults, ill treatment by the public, housing instability, incarcerations and continued financial difficulties. However some of the participants really enjoyed their work, and didn’t feel stigmatised or marginalised.

The stories the participants photographed and shared covered their diverse experiences of the profession, and also their lives outside of work, including family, friendships, recreational interests, skills and dreams. The publication does not aim to present a case for or against the legality of street sex work, but rather to show the human side and to tell the stories of a group of women involved in street sex work.

This book is available within Australia. For any overseas orders, please contact us. There will be an additional $40.00 shipping cost and the book will be snail-mailed. Shipping may take up to three months.