This short film, directed and conceptualised by Berlin-based, Wales born, photographer and director Carys Huws, takes you inside the defiant, enchanting world of the Berlin-based dancers and activists, as they read their manifesto – an urgent demand for the decriminalisation and destigmatisation of sex work.
The Berlin Strippers Collective is a group of 12 women and non-binary sex workers who formed in November 2019, but galvanized their position and following over lockdown. Their mission: to change the way sex work is managed and who by, as well as how it is portrayed and who by. In their words, 'We wanted to tell our story in our own words; sex work is a hot topic, but you hardly see sex workers taking ownership of their own narrative. We want better working conditions; we don’t want to pay out half of our earnings to clubs in commission; we want to create and manage our own projects. To be autonomous, self-organised, and make collective decisions around how and who we work with is radical. It’s also a fuck you to the top-down patriarchal capitalistic systems usually found in the business world.'
BSC is now looking to launch a ‘Stripperature’ book club, mobile peep shows across Berlin, and the ultimate: their own strip club where they can implement their ideals. “The classic strip club aesthetic and business model is outdated and incongruent with the way we see society progressing, in terms of increasing gender diversity, growing sex positivity, and ethical consumerism,” BSC explain. “Our club would strive to reflect and cater to these broader changes in society.”
For more interview questions with BSC directly, please check the Dazed article here.
Carys Huws 'I first met the Berlin Strippers Collective at the monthly life-drawing session they held at the strip club they were working at and instantly knew I wanted to work with them as I loved what they were doing and their message resonated well with me as a fellow-feminist. We decided to start filming together and for the past year and a half I have been documenting their journey on film - capturing their events (IRL and online) and conducting interviews with them. This footage is currently being made into a documentary which is due for release soon.
When they first read their manifesto to me in an interview last year, it was so powerful that I got goosebumps and felt I wanted to highlight it in some way. As well as the doc we decided to make this short, campaign-style film to introduce the collective to the world on video and communicate their perspective clearly alongside striking visuals of them practicing their art. The shoot day was chaos but so much fun - we learnt that putting Strippers, Italians and a team that had recently come out of lockdown together in a non-soundproof studio while trying to record sound in the room next door was a real challenge (sorry Isabelle!). It was great to work with Eugenia the creative producer who helped bring a strong fashion feeling to the project - she and the whole team really came together to help get this turned around within a short period of time. I love how Fabiana, Kosuke, Gianluca and Anri created such strong looks for each of the collective which celebrates them as individuals but that also work in harmony collectively.
I’m really grateful to have crossed passed with the BSC and to have had the opportunity to get to know and collaborate with them - they are a powerful, inspiring group of people who are challenging a patriarchal system and putting their work into their own hands.'
Director and Photographer @caryshuws
Creative Producer @ginvicari
Director of Photography @svenja_trierscheid
VFX, Edit and Grade @johnmalcolmmoore at @cascadeberlin
Hair Stylist @kosuke_ikeuchi
Make-up Artist (Chiqui, Vivi, Suki, Edie) @gianluca.venerdini using @officialbyredo via @karlaotto and @makeupforever
Make-up Artist (Trixie, Josie, Mia, Fifi) @anri_omori using @chanel.beauty
Music Supervisor @lucyscook
Music @felixgodd at @cascadeberlin
Mix @felixgodd at @cascadeberlin
Sound Recordist and Production Assistant @isabelle.m.schmitz
Production assistant and BTS Videographer @agostinacerdan
Stylist Assistant @filomenaianniciello
Starring @chiquilovelovelove @suki.skyy @dazzzedandconfused_#TrixieDelight #EdieMontana @fifi_tinker @chunkysandwich @anoukayak
Wearing @dstm_ @_namilia_ @apher_jewelry @andreadamo_official @loudebetoly
@saqua_studio @adrianahotcouture @autrementpr @kasiaku @clubhellaheels @pleasershoes
Special thanks to @seeyourent @_no.odds @delightrent #RamboyaStudio