Vanessa Feder

Junior Editor at Unrated.

Meet the Visual Activist Challenging Whore-Phobic Rhetoric (NSFW)

Visual activist Camille Melissa creates cyber ethnographic imagery in hopes of offering an alternative narrative to the overly ridiculed ideology surrounding sex work. Through an online platform entitled Whoretography, the image maker and sex work activist showcases her documentary photography and research to the public; challenging preconceived ideas of the workers as victims while also opposing the narrow lens perpetuated online regarding the nature of their work. Although the 21st century’s use of the Internet has changed how we receive information, Camille aims to use her intimate imagery and as a basis of humanizing the workers.

While photobooks of sex work tend to benefit the reader and photographer more than the workers themselves, Camille’s body of imagery refocuses the gaze back on the lives of the workers. As stated on the platform, Whoretography is “Designed to stop the over-simplification of the lives of cis and non-binary gendered sex workers, and to challenge current photographic representation that encourages the sense that the only way of interpreting the lives of sex workers is to see them as ripe for ‘rescue’.” Check out some of Camille’s humanizing visuals of the global sex worker community below and head here to cop a zine, book or magazine to support her future efforts.

Vanessa Feder

Junior Editor at Unrated.