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Back to a Place of No Return

During the pandemic, I decided to walk along the Red Light District of Amsterdam. Here, I worked in a Peep Show, for the first time in 2007, the last time I worked there, was 2016. Overall, I have very good memories of when I was working here, I even made the video The Tale of the Red Nails inspired by the atmosphere of this neighbourhood. This walk was very different, the windows were empty, the strip clubs closed and the streets strange and quiet. My stomach felt tense, how will the workers manage without the income?


Moreover, the plans from the municipality of Amsterdam to move out of the centre the oldest red light district in Europe gave me the creeps. I knew I was walking to a place of no return. The old days where you could work in windows, peep shows or porn theatres while feeling an integrated part of the city always made me feel safe.These are changing times in where sex workers may consider web camming or other alternatives forms of adult work before coming to a city that is making harder for sex workers to feel safe. Mandatory registration for sex workers has also been recently implemented. These means that only those workers who are ready to make public their names as sex workers will be able to work legally.


During this walk, I shed a tear, for the old times,... I felt I was looking to a city landscape that did not inspire pictures of colour and fun. My colourful memories seemed like an old movie and I felt that a new era, marked by double morality and legal barriers is shaping a darker future for sex workers in The Netherlands.

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