Photo exhibit to tell stories of sex workers

Published April 11, 2012

The Exposure Project, which features 33 photos taken by 10 sex trade workers, debuts Apr. 12-19 at Trinity Church in Toronto. Photo: Alias

On April 12th, a photography exhibition unlike anything you’ve ever seen will open at Holy Trinity Church in downtown Toronto.

Called The Exposure Project, the exhibition part of a program for sex trade workers at All Saints Church-Community Centre in downtown Toronto will feature 33 photographs taken by 10 marginalized women.

Interest in The Exposure Project is already so intense that the project has surpassed its $10k fundraising goal three times over. And now, the Montreal Museum of Architecture has requested three photos to mount in their own exhibit of how space and sexuality intersect.

The brainchild of Carly Kalish, a social worker with an interest in art therapy, The Exposure Project engaged some of the most marginalized women at All Saints. Each received two disposable cameras and photography lessons about light, contrast and framing views from artist Anne O’Callaghan.

“I thought ‘how neat would it be to empower women and educate the community at the same time,’ ” Kalish told the Journal. Not only is photography a familiar medium to most people, she points out, but it “allows us to have a window into their lives.”

“It’s a several pronged approach,” explains The Rev. David Opheim, the incumbent priest at All Saints. “You love the person. You say ‘Here’s an instrument you can use to enlighten the rest of the world in terms your existence, which validates who you are.’ And then we say, ‘We’re going to show these photos in a church and say to the rest of the world that this is really important, and God is present in the midst of all of that.’ “

A total of 33 images will be exhibited at Holy Trinity from April 12 to 19. The exhibit will end in a gala fundraiser on the 19th when up to 250 guests will have an opportunity to buy the photographs in a silent auction.

Click here see an interview with Carly Kalish about The Exposure


  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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