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International sex trade awareness posters.
November 20, 2006 12:13 AM   Subscribe

Winners of an international poster competition to raise awareness about prostitution (probably NSFW). Quanto "wants to arouse new reflections to bring forward a topic that tends more and more to hide and become unconspicuous," by "attempting to explore the meaning of the word "prostitution" both from a moral and a sexual standpoint." 200 more entrants. the via is also teh NSFW .
posted by Rumple (26 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
QUANTOproject wants to arouse new reflections to bring forward a topic that tends more and more to hide and become unconspicuous.

My awareness remains flaccid and unaroused.
posted by three blind mice at 12:36 AM on November 20, 2006


Being fair for a change: the competition was sponsored by Italian organizations and enjoyed the participation of a huge proportion of Latin American entries.

There's a single US entry on that page (the very last). I don't see any Canadians. I see no Brits. So if we're going to make fun of their word choices, let's do it in Spanish or Italian, hm?
posted by rokusan at 1:11 AM on November 20, 2006


Actually, the via seemed perfectly suitable to work -- the via's via, not so much so.

Watching that woman make a football appear from her pussy shocked even me!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:21 AM on November 20, 2006


Ick. That should be for work
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:22 AM on November 20, 2006


So if we're going to make fun of their word choices, let's do it in Spanish or Italian, hm?

Well, no, because the promoters decided to get the statement translated in English yet - why am I not surprised - were stingy enough not to care about paying people who could guarantee a decent job (and it's not just the awkward choice of words in that quote), so yeah, I'd say they deserve all the mockery they get.

Anyway, not sure what they want to achieve but the posters are interesting...
posted by pleeker at 1:45 AM on November 20, 2006


Being in different languages (and evoking different cultures), I found some of the posters strangely ambiguous or confusing.

But there also seems to be here a conflation of adult sex workers, sex trafficking and child prostitution, which aren't the same thing. In Canada, some adult sex workers want more recognition for their work as a profession, because it's happening anyways, and they would rather be legal and protected than remain so vulnerable. But obviously no one would support child prostitution or sex trafficking (which involves kidnapping and slavery).

I don't think you could have one campaign that effectively addressed the different issues.
posted by jb at 2:04 AM on November 20, 2006


Yes that same conflation struck me, too, jb, though I was loathe to mention it in this thread if the height of discourse is making fun of someone's second or third language.

In what makes sense, I suppose, I did notice that many of the most powerful posters came from nations in which prostitution is both very illegal and in which the exploitation of children is a larger (or more public) problem.

Coincidence or causality arguments to follow, perhaps.
posted by rokusan at 2:52 AM on November 20, 2006


There doesn't seem to be a unifying message here. Most of the posters simply stoop to simplistic "prostitution=baby rape" and "power over women" cliches - the japanese entry is notable for being the only one proposing a solution, thus engendering honest debate instead of ditto-head self-flaggellation.
posted by spazzm at 3:30 AM on November 20, 2006


were stingy enough not to care about paying people who could guarantee a decent job

Or maybe they can't tell a good english translation from a bad one, because they don't know enough english ? It's rather hard to understand their motivations by simplying judging the quality of the work done by others...not exactly a good quality one indeed , but not only because of poor translation

by criminal organizations;and Italy is one

one could also criticize that bad example of punctuation.

Yet the propaganda message seems to be effective, much more than a Metafilter post anyway.

Imho , the core of the message should still be that

1. one can sell sexual services, but can't be forced to sell them
2. sex should occour naturally between consenting people and not as an entertainment product
3. nobody should be put in condition to choose between having sex and not surviving or damaging his/her health
posted by elpapacito at 3:34 AM on November 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Good points Papacito. Too complex for a single poster's message, of course, but good messages anyway. :)
posted by rokusan at 3:52 AM on November 20, 2006


But there also seems to be here a conflation of adult sex workers, sex trafficking and child prostitution, which aren't the same thing.

Amen. These people are doing a disservice to honest, hardworking prostitutes everywhere.

Slavery=bad.
Abuse of women and children=bad.
Human rights and dignity for all, including prostitutes=good.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:29 AM on November 20, 2006


I thought the legalize/regulate poster did a good job of unifying a bunch of themes without being too pedantic or moralizing or kneejerk or any of those things we love to bitch about.

LREGAULIAZTE

I guess it doesn't work quite as well in text...
posted by blacklite at 5:14 AM on November 20, 2006


Are there places in the world where having sex with an infant is normal or something? Because I don't see the point of raising awareness of universal taboos.
posted by mathowie at 7:30 AM on November 20, 2006


ditto-head self-flaggellation

Now now, just because Rush is into sex tourism, it doesn't mean all his listeners are...
posted by fungible at 7:43 AM on November 20, 2006


Seems to me that you folks are discussing the posters strictly in regards to prostitution, which doesn't appear to be Quanto's goal. They refer to human trafikking early in their "concept" page, only mentioning prostitution as a result of that industry.

This quote in the FPP: "attempting to explore the meaning of the word "prostitution" both from a moral and a sexual standpoint" doesn't appear anywhere on the Quanto site. It was taken from a third-party blog and resulted in the FPP framing the issue strictly around prostitution and therefore set the course of the discussion on the wrong path. At least, that's how I'm seeing it--and it absolutely makes many of the posters make more sense, especially the ones with infants.

why am I not surprised - were stingy enough

I've read it 5 times, but I don't follow. Why aren't you surprised? Are Italians stingy? Or artists? Or artists against human traffiking? WTF could this statement possibly mean?

But obviously no one would support child prostitution or sex trafficking

Huh? If no one supports them why are they thriving industries in various countries around the world?

Comments like this:

These people are doing a disservice to honest, hardworking prostitutes everywhere.

are insulting and show a ridiculous amount of ignorance of sex tourism and sex slavery. The "Human rights and dignity for all, including prostitutes=good." followup is trite rhetoric that goes the distance in attempting to simplify the issues of these trades so they can more easily be ignored. It may not have been meatbomb's intention in posting it but it sure comes across that way to me.

You honestly think you're going to have a discourse about human rights for sex workers with countries that barely have rights for women in general?
posted by dobbs at 7:48 AM on November 20, 2006


I thought many of the pieces were powerful. Thanks for the post.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:55 AM on November 20, 2006


If the project is primarily about human trafficking, the posters make more sense.

That said, I still find the messages sometimes vague - is that because they are speaking in cultural languages I don't share? Most political posters I respond to well are more verbal, less image based, but I'm not sure if that's me, or perhaps the generally literate culture I'm immersed in.
posted by jb at 8:03 AM on November 20, 2006


The message is very muddled. Are they promoting the legalization or regulation of prostitution as sex work? Because the ads addressing "innocents and dignity" etc would seem to run counter to that.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:28 AM on November 20, 2006


There must be a language barrier here I'm missing. But a lot of them are really well done.
posted by cj_ at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2006


Are there places in the world where having sex with an infant is normal or something? Because I don't see the point of raising awareness of universal taboos.

I agree with you but I noticed that during every ad break in the CNN coverage of the US mid-terms here in the UK, there was a spot, produced by the UN, which was anti-child prostitution in the developing world and had a final message "sex with a minor is illegal and you will be punished". The campaign is more about child sex tourism than infants perhaps.
posted by patricio at 9:01 AM on November 20, 2006


Interesting how several artists used bar codes (as opposed to currency symbols) in their designs: Belgium, Italy, Italy, Italy, Mexico, Mexico, and Mexico. The Russia entry looks like an illustration for a Playboy article.

UPCs would best fit the concept of "quanto" in the global market, but the idea that any person's worth must first be determined by a computer objectifies the problem even more.
posted by cenoxo at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2006


An interesting omission is male prostitution. Taboos within taboos?
posted by XMLicious at 1:35 PM on November 20, 2006


insulting and show a ridiculous amount of ignorance of sex tourism and sex slavery

Absolutely not, dobbs, but read into my words what you will. I have a lot of respect for the prostitutes I've met, it's a difficult and often thankless job that I wouldn't want to do.

Because I say that prostitutes deserve dignity, I am ignorant of sex tourism? Sorry, dobbs, you're on the wrong page.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:08 PM on November 20, 2006


elpapacito - I'm not talking about the English being used in the posters, I'm talking of the press release/web site that was supposed to be translated professionally, as usually happens

dobbs - Sorry I didn't think of expanding - I'm not surprised because I work in the translation business and Italian organisations, especially when there's some public organisation/sponsorship involved (this is sponsored by the city of Venezia), are notoriously stingy in that respect and some of the results are notoriously embarassing, that's all. And this is even't one of the worst examples. The most infamous is probably a horrible babelfishy English version of the bios of politicians that appeared on the official Italian gov site back when Berlusconi was still pm.


But there also seems to be here a conflation of adult sex workers, sex trafficking and child prostitution, which aren't the same thing.

No but the latter are big problems, even just in Europe, not just in poorer areas of the world, so whenever there's talk of raising awareness about the issues with prostitution I assume it's about the trafficking, poverty, abuse etc. not about the happily and freely entered professional choice of adults.

It's obvious, isn't it?
posted by pleeker at 11:21 PM on November 20, 2006


Seems to me that you folks are discussing the posters strictly in regards to prostitution, which doesn't appear to be Quanto's goal. They refer to human trafikking early in their "concept" page, only mentioning prostitution as a result of that industry.

Well, looks like the person from the US missed that distinction too, since their poster, which was considered good enough to win, seems to be doing quite a lot of conflating.

Oh, and prostitution is totally about selling sex. I am sorry, but I am sick and tired of people framing the sexual relationship between men and women in terms of power. It's the systems in place that enforce power -- systems of ownership, of what kind of behavior is and isn't acceptable, what kind of force or aggression is permitted or not permitted. If power is manifested, it comes from the systems, not from the sex.

So, um. Long story short, there are horny men, and they just want to get laid. Prostitute exists to serve this purpose, men could care less about the "power" angle. They just need about 10-20 minutes and a woman's touch. Prostitution isn't illegal in most places to protect women; it's illegal because some people don't like the idea of women having promiscuous sex.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:34 PM on November 21, 2006


An interesting omission is male prostitution. Taboos within taboos?

Yes. Either that, or male prostitutes are protected from exploitation by the magical power of the penis.
posted by spazzm at 5:01 AM on November 23, 2006


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