'The price of sex' by Mimi Chakarova

Posted on March 25, 2012 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

I hope that my blog title will not attract the wrong crowd thinking that this is a porn site! It's actually about a documentary that I saw at the Human Rights Watch film festival currently showing in London.

Before launching the website, I found the whole idea of social media quite daunting. Little did I know, 6 months later, I am constantly blogging and twitting online... all in the name of business! I used to wonder if anyone would want to read what I have to say or if I can come up with interesting things to say, but now, my attitude towards voicing myself has changed completely.

I don't want to use this platform as a political/ religious/ social issues forum and I certainly do not want to be preachy or patronising. But I realised that if my blog can help to raise awareness of issues that I care about, and even if only a handful of people are going to read it, it is better than thinking about it quietly in my bedroom. At the end of the day, it's up to the readers to judge what really matter to them.

A few months ago, I saw a Swedish film, Lilya 4-ever, directed by Lukas Moodysson, about a young girl being sex trafficked in the former Soviet Union. Loosely based on a true story, the film had a profound impact on me and I knew the story is not an one-off. I started doing research on the topic and tried to find ways to help but it didn't go very far as there are too many NGOs doing similar work, yet I wasn't sure which was credible.



Then yesterday, I went to the ICA to see another excellent and moving documentary, The price of sex, directed by photojournalist, Mimi Chakarova, and once again, I felt the urge to do something. The film focuses mainly on three Eastern European women and most of the filming took place in Istanbul and Dubai, where they were trafficked. As explained in the film, sex trafficking is a complicated issue and it's more to do with power than sex. Being one of the oldest trades in the world, we all know that the sex trade can never be eliminated, but it's still daunting to see how little has changed even with so much money and effort being put in to combat it. At the Q & A, Mimi, who spent almost 10 years working on this project, seemed quite emotional at times, and as the audiences, we could feel how personal this project is to her.



I don't know if there are real solutions to this complex issue but raising awareness is the first step, and we need to know that these stories are taking place everywhere in the world including the U.K. It annoys me when I hear people here constantly moaning about the economical downturn and how it's affecting their lifestyle i.e. cutting down on the son's swimming classes or not being able to go abroad for holiday. If self-indulgence and self-absorption is the price we pay in to live in the civilised society, then we have certainly reached a critical period in human history. If all us can see a glass as half full rather than half empty, then we will be much happier and be more generous towards those in need.

Mimi urges the audiences to tell at least 5 people about the film, I managed to tell 4 so far, so hopefully, I will get at least one reader who will read this and spread the message to more people! If you would like to find out more or give support, you can check out the Poppy project set up by Eaves, a London-based charity, to help trafficked women.

There is also an e-petition calling on the Government to stop detaining trafficked people, you can click here to sign up.

This post was posted in Talks, Films & documentaries, Social issues and was tagged with talks, documentaries, ICA