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The Labor of Images: Sex Work in Brazilian Film

Headshot of Sarah Ann Wells
Thursday, February 07, 2019
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Sarah Ann Wells

A lecture by Sarah Ann Wells, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on how the contemporary boom in films about sex work and other forms of feminized labor in Latin America points to a crisis in how we understand and imagine work. This current crisis finds an unexpected precedent in Brazilian cinema of the long 1970s, a period in which sex work first appears on screen. This talk analyzes the films and film networks grouped under the rubric Boca do Lixo (São Paulo, 1973-1982), whose polemical practices of production, distribution, exhibition, and reception helped to position sex work as key to debating labor's shifting status and meaning, in and beyond the cinema.