Jasmine and Dora 4-Ever
This video chronicles the efforts of sex worker communities and their allies to memorialise Dora Özer and Petite Jasmine. In the aftermath of the murders of Dora and Jasmine, sex workers and allies organised protests in front of Swedish and Turkish embassies in 36 cities on 4 continents. The video includes impressions from these protests as well as an interview with Petite Jasmine by Carol Leigh and Pye Jakobsson during the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington.
“Often when I talk about what I think is important, that people who sell sex should be accepted and have a place in society like everybody else, there are many that say that it would never be accepted by society. But it wasn’t long ago that people said the same thing about unwed mothers, gays, transsexuals – pretty much everyone that was outside this frame of normality. I think, if we all tried real hard not to discriminate, like we have done with other minorities, things will develop pretty fast, like it has with other groups. That’s what I believe in.” – Eva Marree Smith Kullander (Petite Jasmine)
“Some might recognise this title from a famous movie in Sweden, Lilja 4-Ever, which invoked a specific experience of sex work. Those who condemn sex workers used that film to proselytise, claiming that represented all prostitution and promoting their anti-prostitution ideology. But our title expresses a new hope. Yes, we are victimized. But the solutions have evolved from stigma and punishment to rights and risk reduction. No longer will we be victims to prejudice and violence. We will have a voice and will participate in policy that impacts us. Sex workers are standing up and speaking out. The whore-as-victim is not the 4-ever prostitute. Our friends Jasmine and Dora live 4-ever in our hearts and inspire our resistance, courage and honesty. Only rights can stop the wrongs.” – Carol Leigh