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Making Visible The Invisible | COVID-19: Sex Workers X Mental Health

October 10, 2020 @ 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm


This screening is co-presented with Rendezvous with Madness Festival (Toronto, Canada).

Sex work is a legal paid form of labour both in Singapore and Canada, yet despite its legality, many still look upon it in scoff and discomfort. It seems as though there is an artificial divide that separates sex work from any other forms of employment. This division is made more salient with the pandemic which has disadvantaged many workers who find themselves losing their main source of income, and as they continue to battle against the stigma surrounding their work – and all these have negative impacts on their self-esteem and mental well-being.


Stray Dogs Come Out At Night | Hamza Bangash, Pakistan/UK, 2020, 11mins
Synopsis: Iqbal, a migrant sex worker, cannot come to terms with his illness. He convinces his uncle to take a day trip to the beach, desperate for respite. The Arabian sea beckons.


In this panel discussion, we aim to understand more broadly the sex work industry both in Singapore and Canada, and to dispel common misconceptions surrounding it. We will also take the opportunity to re-examine our own values and biases surrounding the sex trade, and learn to appreciate that we are more similar than we are different. We also aim to discuss the impacts the pandemic has on the material needs and mental well-being of the workers, as well as the support services available – both in Singapore and Canada.


Nicolas Lainez | Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)

Sherry Sherqueshaa | Human Rights Defender, Project X
Jenny Duffy | Board Chair, Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project
Dr Mina Husain | Psychiatrist & Producer, Stray Dogs Come Out At Night

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October 10, 2020
9:00 pm - 10:30 pm
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