After completing the outline for our show, I emailed my group and also Karen to get feedback on our TV show idea and how we’d like to convey it. Previously, we had a broad idea to look into the liberation of sex in Amsterdam, Holland but we were lacking research and figures to support our ideas. We found we needed to find one particular angle and ensure it still matched out idea of discussing taboos once back in the United Kingdom.
Prostitution within Amsterdam:
As a group, we began to look into the numbers of prostitutes in Amsterdam overall. We found that, around 1,000 prostitutes work in Amsterdam on any given day, and a few hundred of them work behind the windows in the Red Light District. The others work in clubs, brothels, for escort services or from home. Totally, the city has about 400 such windows, with the big majority of them located at the Wallen in the Red Light District (Amsterdam Adviser, 2016).
History of Sexual Liberation:
After reading about the prostitution within The Neatherlands culture, I found I was interested in looking into the history of the sexual liberation of how the once rather sleepy provincial town, Amsterdam faced a radical and shocking change where it became of the most vibrant and main sexual cities in the West of Europe. The Neatherlands as a whole was once a pretty conservative where Christians had set the traditions, the values and the norms and laws before revolving in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Within months, Amsterdam developed a sexual underworld serving the local dutch people. Many foreign visitors began to to arrive through the harbor of the city mainly sailors and American soldiers on leave from occupied Germany.
Amsterdam then opened a red-light district that was still very middle class and white in terms of races. However, it was not long before the gay scene began to developed also inviting lovers from all backgrounds of sexualities. In the mid-sixties the red-light district grew enormously entering the mainstream world and gaining more visitors. Amsterdam was now symbolic for it’s liberation towards sexuality. Hekma called the sexual revolution “Gesamtkunstwerk” which means unitary work of art in Dutch as it resembled the unitary of urbanism. The city did not only liberate the freedom of sexual orientations, it embraced and welcomed media, arts, literature, pop music and ways of dancing, social movements, novel types of spirituality, experiments with body, gender, and sexuality, communal and squatted housing projects, drugs, and a critique of traditional politics and religion taking over from Paris, the capital of France which was also once known for its liberal city.
Trafficking in Amsterdam:
The Netherlands is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. During 2008, most female victims were exploited in forced prostitution, and the majority of identified sex trafficking victims were from the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands, victims are trafficked by so called “pimp boys” or “lover boys”—men who seduce vulnerable young women and girls and force them into prostitution. Males were trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation as well as forced labor in the catering, cleaning, agriculture and construction sectors. The main countries of origin for male victims were China, India, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Netherlands. – U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June,2009. [full country report]
“Every day 400 women are commercially raped in Amsterdam”, those were the words of mayor Eberhard van der Laan of Amsterdam, when defending Project 1012, which aims to close down 40% of all the windows in Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District. The number he uses is based on the total amount of sex workers in Amsterdam, and not just those working in the Red Light District. In total there are about 4000 sex workers in Amsterdam, of which about 600 work in the Red Light District.
What is our TV shows main point?
Our overall aim is to discuss and address taboo subjects that people are too afraid or uncomfortable to come forward about. In just ten minutes Coventry University students are bringing to you an insight into controversial subjects that nobody else is willing to talk about, except us. Why be afraid? It is time to open up and talk a look at what is happening around us especially the differences within these taboo subjects with our international cultures and backgrounds from European countries like England, The Netherlands, Bugaria, Poland across to Morocco, China and Jamaica. Nothing is as pure as it seems!
How are we linking Amsterdam’s sexual liberation into our Taboo TV show in the Coventry, United Kingdom?
As students currently living in Coventry for just over six months, prostitution is something that you will notice especially as young woman. During living in Coventry, while walking home at night myself and my friends have often been approached asking if “we were working”. In Hillfields, Coventry in particular, prostitution and crime is a reputation of the area. From around 10pm you see young woman standing on the street corners waiting for their customers from a range of ages – this would be something we could link into Amsterdam especially as it fits the subject of our TV show, “Let’s Talk Taboo”.
Who are we going to speak to?
We have come up with a couple of ideas to back up our TV show. The first is arranging an interview to speak to a lady who works with woman that have been caught up in trafficking, a friend of Adriana Chiru’s. Her name is Iana Matei from ‘Reaching Out Romania’. We have asked her if she help us to make a short documentary for educational purposes about human traffic in Amsterdam, and if she can to help us further with some police contacts and possibly giving us one victim who is dispose to talk about her experience.
If this fails, which it might as we are still to receive confirmation… we are going to vox pop Amsterdammers and get their opinion on these five questions:
Five unique questions to ask Amsterdam people:
- What is your opinion of the liberation of sex in Amsterdam?
- Does the liberation of sex and drugs affect your everyday life?
- Do you find you tolerate it because you live here or because you agree with the industry?
- Do you think commercial sex would be as open in other countries or other cities?
We have researched into filming inside the Sex Museum,Venustempel, in Amsterdam where we do have permission to get some erotic, shocking establishing shots. We will also be approaching people around the Red Light District to get some interesting shots there which we will later on run a voice over.
Tuesday 19th April: Filming from midday until afternoon.
Wednesday 20th April: Filming in the morning until the afternoon.
(I know it is 4/20 but that’s why we should film in the day and try capture some unusual interesting stuff THEN in the evening we can join in the fun)
Roles in Amsterdam:
Director: Carina Gonzalez-Brown
Assistant Director: Azza Essakhi
Camera Woman: Zynab Hassan
Camera Woman: Carina Gonzalez-Brown
Sound Engineer: Azza Essakhi
Gaffer: Stephanie Mo
Interviewer: Zynab Hassan
Presenters: Vlad Feraru and Mia Drewniak
(Subject to change depending on arrival and availability in Amsterdam)
Amsterdam Adviser (2016) ‘Amsterdam Prostitutes’ [online] <http://www.amsterdam-advisor.com/amsterdam-prostitutes.html> [16th April, 2016]
Dimmer, S. (2015) ‘Hillfields prostitution: How much of a problem is it ?’ [online] available from <http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/hillfields-prostitution-tough-nut-crack-8783931> [17 April 2016]
Hekma, G. (2009) ‘Amsterdam’s Sexual Underground in the 1960s‘. Paris-Amsterdam Underground 13 (12), 50–61