Theater and Sex Work: VAMP's Performance as Resistance

A film collaboration between VAMP (Sangli) and the Barnard Center for Research on Women (New York). Vaishya Anyay Mukti Parishad (Sex Workers Free from Injustice) is a collective of sex-workers in Sangli, a small Indian border town on the commercial trucking routes between the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Working since 1996 with the not-for-profit organization SANGRAM (founded 1992), VAMP has been a vocal and effective organizer around issues of HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and treatment, advocating for labor and human rights for sex workers, empowering its members to tell their own stories, and improve conditions in their communities. Professor Shayoni Mitra, (Barnard Department of Theater) and Catherine Sameh (BCRW Associate Director, 2011-2014), along with six Barnard students, visited VAMP in Sangli in March of 2012 to watch them perform their play "Hum Aur Tum Sab" (Us and You All) directed by Sushama Deshpande, a well-known professional of Marathi theatre. It tells the story of VAMP itself - the early reluctance to join it, how its members overcame stigma and challenges to organizing, and now how it collaborates with other organizations in a global network working for the rights of sex workers. Alongside this institutional history, we get powerful personal narratives of trauma, violence, disease, but also laughter and sisterhood. Refusing to play victim or objects in a savior project, VAMP uses theater as a powerful tool for community storytelling. VAMP expanded on the themes of this play and performed it at the International AIDS Conference in Kolkata, India in July 2012. This video includes footage from that performance, stills from the show in Sangli in March 2012, and interviews conducted by Prof. Mitra in January 2013. She spoke with members of VAMP including Kiran Ramchandra Deshmukh, Chanda Yamnappa Vajane, Sangita Ramu Manoji, Rajendra Vinayak Naik, and Kamalabai Gullappa Pani, and Director of SANGRAM Meena Sheshu.

Running Time
8 minutes
480p, 720p, 1080p, 2K, 4K
Documentary, Short
Pulkit Datta, Shayoni Mitra
Audio Languages
English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Svenska, Gaeilge, Nederlands
日本語, Čeština, Tiếng Việt, Português, 한국어, Australia, Filipino, हिन्दी

Comments about documentary «Theater and Sex Work: VAMP's Performance as Resistance» (21)

Jacob avatar

Most compact, most mature and best done in very aspects, and perhaps it's the best movie from Shayoni Mitra.

Rebecca avatar

Was actually pretty damn good. The film was good.

Diane Johnston avatar
Diane Johnston

This movie Rocks!!!! An ambush of engaging sequences that leaves you satisfied

Nancy D. avatar
Nancy D.

Exciting and a great movie.

Bryan F. avatar
Bryan F.

Loved it! As usual Shayoni Mitra is cool and interesting. Its worth a watch or two. You won't regret it.

Olivia P. avatar
Olivia P.

I haven't enjoyed a movie this much in a long time! Definitely recommend

Martha C. avatar
Martha C.

This is possibly one of the only perfect films I have ever seen. It is absolutely confident in every way, something which is extremely refreshing

Lori avatar

I enjoyed this movie. So did my husband, cause he didn’t fell asleep through the movie.

Sarah Porter avatar
Sarah Porter

Love the movie. Worth the time to watch.

Joan Vargas avatar
Joan Vargas

I would highly recommend that anyone who is deciding whether or not to go and see it does; you will most likely love it.

Aaron Weaver avatar
Aaron Weaver

Don't hesitate. You'll like it.

Janice avatar

Not what I expected so it surprised me. but not a movie I would watch over and over again.