The Helsinki City Museum’s new exhibition 'Hoes – Voices in Sex Work' presents Helsinki from the perspective of sex work. The exhibition aims to diversify the image of Helsinki’s history as well as contemporary Helsinki, to alleviate prejudices related to sex work, and to increase awareness on the topic. The exhibition will be open 11 November 2022–5 March 2023.
There is no age limit for the exhibition, but the exhibition is not recommended for children due to its content. Children can attend the exhibition with parental consent.
The exhibition, opening in November, approaches sex work from the perspectives of the daily lives of sex workers, its various forms and definitions, customers and related activism, as well as society, legislation and history. The exhibition has been prepared in cooperation with sex workers. The content is based on interview and survey data collected from sex workers, their loved ones and customers. Responses were also received from various organisations and experts.
The ‘Hoes– Voices in Sex Work’ exhibition has been produced by Sauli Seppälä and Iisa Aaltonen from Helsinki City Museum. Sexual Educator Terhi Suokas has acted as the curator, and the exhibited artefacts consist mainly of items collected by her. Exhibition visitors get to see, for example, a Christmas calendar put together by sex workers for their customers and extracts from a ‘black list’ of inappropriate customers circulating among sex workers.
The realities and experiences related to sex work can all be true at the same time. What they have in common is the prejudices associated with the people working in the field. Sex workers and their customers are not disconnected from the rest of society, even though people often want to see them through these roles alone.
Paid sex has always involved morally and ethically charged questions, and it has been shrouded in mystery. The topic continues to stir debates and polarise opinions as it challenges our conventional notions of sex, work and money, and the connections between them.
The exhibition will be open until 5 March 2023. During the exhibition, the City Museum will also organise related events together with its partners.
Hoes – Voices in Sex Work
11 November 2022–5 March 2023
Helsinki City Museum, 4th floor
Exhibition producers: Sauli Seppälä and Iisa Aaltonen
Exhibition curator: Terhi Suokas
Spatial planning of the exhibition: Jonathan Maxwell
Graphic design for the exhibition: Tero Juuti
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