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Bishopsgate Institute x Guildhall School: Impurity!

Inspired by real sex worker history from the Bishopsgate Institute archives, Sexquisite presents a cabaret show of multidisciplinary performances, with poetry, burlesque, dance, comedy, and more.

This show explored sex work through the ages - specifically how sex workers have been treated by the police, the media, and society over the years, exploring how sex workers have always existed at the mercy of legislation and public opinion, and still do.

The collections that inspired Impurity!

It's hard for marginalised people to have a voice that resonates, as the historical discourse that's most widely available to us is the one written by the very oppressive forces that have kept us marginalised.


The importance of these archives became particularly clear when we were all able to relate so fiercely to the voices of our sex worker predecessors. Those voices that were otherwise silenced by the dominant narratives of their time, informed by colonialism and patriarchy.

Despite this, a member of our collective highlighted that, as a black sex worker, they struggled to find archival evidence of those that came before. Glimpses still exist, but it made us question how much sex worker history is undocumented.

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