For the site specific module, I chose the following map and to research into the area Hillfields.
After doing research into the area, and the rumours I heard whilst living there last year; It seemed Hillfields was much associated with crime and prostitution.
Prostitution is common in every city, but Hillfields is referred to as the ‘Coventry Red Light District,’ it’s nowhere near as bad as it was back in the 80s, since the police crack down, or Amsterdam, but it’s still very much a problematic area.
Living in Hillfields last year, I had ignored the rumours of sex workers, and failed to believe that they walked the streets outside my house. I would hear people refer to them as being ‘dirty sluts’ and ‘whores’ other dreadful terms.
Since choosing to research prostitution in the area, I learned the shocking facts, horrific stories and trauma these poor women go through. I came to realise that people’s opinions had to change. Without support, and the public looking down on them- passing abuse, how are they ever going to be able change their life’s path, or exit the sex indistry?
Thankfully these women are not completely alone, there is a charity based in Coventry (Kairos WWT) who makes it their mission to help them, build their confidence, offer an ear to listen, and to ultimately give them the strength they need to exit and start a new life.
The objective of this project was to raise awareness to the people of Coventry, of the dreadful things that go on down the streets they do not dare to walk alone at night. I decided the most powerful tool would be to hear the story first hand, from a sex worker. Using the poetry from the Kairos charity, I created a photo-film, the poetry was narrated in the first person, with strong imagery and audio, transporting the viewer to the streets. The poetry sends a message of us not to judge them. The most powerful verse tells us that we have no right to judge as whatever choices we make can lead us down the wrong route, it could very easily be us in this position.
Don’t pass judgement on the unknown;
desperation drives us to what we do;
we see no choice, no escape from this,
it could so easily be you.