12. jun. 2009

XXX-Politics at Istanbul Pride 2009

XXX-Politics: Independent Porn as a Critical Response to Mainstream Porn
… a workshop; discussion; film screenings at Istanbul Pride 2009!

Tuesday, June 23rd 2009, 20:00 – 23:00 at the Çıplak Ayaklar Dance Studio. Address: Firuzağa mah., Çukurcuma cad., No: 6/3, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey
Phone: 0212 252 30 13


The discussion/workshop is going to focus on independent pornographic films that can be labelled as political, feminist, queer or simply different from what the mainstream porno industry has to offer. Like all porn, independent porno films are about sexually explicit imagery intended for sexual arousal of the viewer. But the difference is significant. There are many amateur and professional film-makers who deliberately ignore, resist, laugh at, comment on or are bored with the persistent male-centered gaze, misogynystic scenarios and reproduction of heterosexual norms in the mainstream porn industry.

Independent porn is a direct and critical response to mainstream porn production. It is providing our horny and queer, role-playing and bisexual, lesbian and gay, submissive and dominant, transgressive and straight desires with a show-and-tell alternative. It is about reclaiming the right to sexual pleasure as we like it, to the beauty of bodies like yours and mine. It is about resisting sexual humilation, violence and exploitation in porn as a symptom of rather than the reason for the sexual and gender violence in society. It is not about liberal relativizing, but about respecting mutual consent. About ethics.

Is independent porn political? From a feminist point of view, it is politically correct because queer people with queer bodies are in it having queer sex. But porn can never be completely politically correct, because our fantasies are not. That's why watching and producing queer porn opens up a field of difficult questions that an unconditional anti-pornographic stance doesn't allow us to face. Barbara DeGenevive, one of the filmmakers that will be presented during the workshop, puts it this way:

"Porn is made to get people off. In order to do this, bodies must not only be highly sexualized, but objectified, fetishized, exotified and made to accommodate very particular individual kinks. Political correctness has become an intellectual prison within which an extremely limited dialogue can take place, and in fact where monologues and diatribes are usually the discursive practice. Embracing the need to objectify and be objectified, to fetishize and be fetishized, to play the willing victim as well as the victimizer, opens up a mine field that will be difficult to traverse, but it is a more intellectually provocative and honest terrain from which to understand who we are as complex sexual beings."

During the workshop we will show and discuss excerpts from the following independent porn films:

- Watching Lesbian Porn (dir.: Dayna McLeod, 2001, 10'18'', Canada, excerpt, Turkish subtitles
- Headshot (dir.: Jennifer Lyon Bell, Blue Artichoke Films, 2006, 9'00'', NL/USA)
- Trans Entities – The Nasty Love of Papi' and Wil (dir.: Morty Diamond, 2007, USA, excerpt, Turkish subtitles)
- The Crash Pad (dir.: Shine Louise Houston, Pink and White Productions, 2007/08, USA, excerpt)
- The Raspberry Reich (dir.: Bruce LaBruce, 2004, Canada, excerpt)
- Love Hotel (dir.: Barbara DeGenevieve, 2009, USA, excerpt)

Your questions and critiques are most welcome. The workshop is moderated by Anna Ehrlemark and Tea Hvala, the 2009 Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns (Ljubljana, Slovenia) porn film screening curators.

To apply, write to info@prideistanbul.org
The workshop is going to be in English. Simultaneous translation to Turkish is going to be provided. The number of participants is limited to 30 people. To help us prepare for the workshop we would be grateful if you enclose your reply to the following questions:

Why do you watch porn? Or why not?
What do feel is lacking in mainstream porn?

For stimulation, here are some missing (porn) links: http://rdecezore.blogspot.com/2009/03/xxx-until-dawn-missing-links.html