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Lecture | CMGI Brown Bag Seminar

Sex work and the making of the modern Dutch city

Wednesday 12 October 2022
CMGI Brown Bag Seminars 2022-2023
Old Observatory
Sterrenwachtlaan 11
2311 GW Leiden
Conference room (2.60)

How did prostitution shape modern Amsterdam, ca 1880-1985? The project ‘Sex work and the making of the modern Dutch city’ aims to unveil the role of sex work in the creation and development of ‘modern’ Amsterdam from the late 19th century onward. I argue that prostitution is visible not only through the display of women and men’s body but also in the way modern cities developed: prostitution influenced the city’s economy, health services, social composition, cultural changes, policing, spatial use of the urban environment, and had even a role to play in the lightscape and soundscape of certain areas. Combining a bottom-up approach with an analysis of the political discourse, this project aims to redefine the recent history of sex work in the NL and highlight sex workers’ right to the city.

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