A*DESK has been offering since 2002 contents about criticism and contemporary art. A*DESK has become consolidated thanks to all those who have believed in the project, all those who have followed us, debating, participating and collaborating. Many people have collaborated with A*DESK, and continue to do so. Their efforts, knowledge and belief in the project are what make it grow internationally. At A*DESK we have also generated work for over one hundred professionals in culture, from small collaborations with reviews and classes, to more prolonged and intense collaborations.

At A*DESK we believe in the need for free and universal access to culture and knowledge. We want to carry on being independent, remaining open to more ideas and opinions. If you believe in A*DESK, we need your backing to be able to continue. You can now participate in the project by supporting it. You can choose how much you want to contribute to the project.

You can decide how much you want to bring to the project.

Collaborative Film Making


12 September 2022
This month's topic: Collaborative Film MakingResident Editor: Lorenzo Sandoval

Collaborative Film Making

"Workers!" by

Workers! is a film by artist and filmmaker Petra Bauer and SCOT-PEP, a sex-worker led organisation in Scotland. The film is the result of a long-term collaboration titled Nothing About Us Without Us, inspired by feminist film practitioners who emphasise the importance of making films with their subjects, not about them. Through an ongoing process oflistening and sharing ideas, Petra and SCOT-PEP were guided by the questions: how do you act politically when stigma prevents you from being public? How can you create new images of sex workers without revealing the identity of those involved? What is regarded as work and who has the right to work? How has (women’s) work been represented historically and what new strategies can be used for filmmaking today?

Two historic films are used a starting point for the new film work: Les Prostituées de Lyon Parlent (1975) that documents the occupation of a church by two hundred sex workers denouncing police harassment and dangerous working conditions; and Chantal Akerman’s iconic Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Brussels (1975), which depicts the daily routine of Jeanne as a mother, housewife and sex worker.

The film was first screened in Edinburgh in 2018 and exhibited in early 2019 at Collective, Edinburgh, and Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Arts, Oldenburg.

The wider project includes a digitally printed banner by SCOT-PEP and artist Fiona Jardine; a folio of research designed by Maeve Redmond that was collated during the development of the project and compiles articles, books, film titles, online news, essays, reports and briefing papers shared between Petra Bauer, producer and researcher Frances Stacey, and SCOT-PEP members; and an archive of audio recordings that centre the voices of SCOT-PEP members as they expand on discussions that take place in the film, exploring topics such as representation and stigma.

This film is part of the “Collaborative Film Making” month. Each screening will be open for one week.

Petra Bauer is an artist and filmmaker based in Sweden. She works at the Royal Institute of Art as a research leader and Head of Department for artistic research and further education in architecture and fine art in Stockholm. In her artistic practice and research she is interested in how we can approach film as a space for social and political negotiations. Her work explores politically and aesthetically how women have organised and resisted historically and in a contemporary global world. She has formed long-term collaborations with several different feminist organisations including Southall Black Sisters in London, the sex worker led organisation SCOT-PEP in Edinburgh, and The Women’s Centre in Tensta-Hjulsta in Stockholm. She is one of the initiators of the feminist platform k.ö.k (Women Desire Collectivity). Her recent artistic research project revisits feminist figures in art and film works of the 70s and explores how they can be rethought from a contemporary global and decolonial perspective.

SCOT-PEP is sex worker-led charity that advocates for the safety, rights and health of everyone who sells sex in Scotland. They believe that sex work is work, and that sex workers deserve protections such as labour rights. Along with Amnesty International, the World Health Organisation and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, they believe that the decriminalisation of sex work best upholds the safety and rights of people who sell sex.

Media Partners:

"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)