2021 ~ Arnhem, the Netherlands: Roaming Assembly#29 presents Sonsbeek Council#3 ~ SEXWORK IS HONEST WORK ~  an ongoing invocation convened by sonsbeek20→24.

| tag: Arnhem

With contributions by:

Barby Asante, Dina de Riquet-Bons, Hella Dee, Ola Hassanain, Kamala Kempadoo, Simone Lagrand, Quirine Lengkeek, Pascale Obolo, Olu Oguibe, Milone Reigman, Thot Scholar & Mavi Veloso.


“I would argue that, at this point, “sex worker” is an identity — a political one.” $thotscholar 

On invitation of and in collaboration with the Dutch Art Institute (DAI) and Olu Oguibe, sonsbeek20→24 presents the third sonsbeek Council#3: SEX WORK IS HONEST WORK. A two day collective study, speaking and broadcasting in order to trace the ways gender, spatial politics, intimate labour and race intersect at the “margins of societies”. It departs from the artist, theorist and curator Olu Oguibe’s public installation and series of gatherings titled SEX WORK IS HONEST WORK. With this project we call attention to the need to unpack the historical denial of sex work as labour and its subsequent present day implications as we examine its complexities in relation to the inequalities and injustices that characterize migrant or indentured labour. 

This two-day program is an attempt to open up and contextualize the public discourse around gendered, intimate/erotic labour and sex work, on the conjuncture where care, intimacy and money meet. Especially during this global pandemic when vulnerable workers are pushed into fragile existence at the “low end” of the market. A market where workers  are often at the forefront of  “critiques of this legal system that implements policing to keep the “sacred” out of markets while enabling corporations to profit on the caging of human beings.” As we try to unlearn the dominant empowerment/exploitation binary that is prevalent in a general discourse around sex work and intimate labour, we look closely at who benefits from this social stigmatization? What should be urgently considered when theorizing and thinking through practices of gendered, sex, intimate work? 

During this public gathering, sonsbeek want to look together with sex and erotic workers, artists, advocates, theorists, thinkers, students and hustlers closely at the genealogy of the discourse around sex work and the way it is embedded in savior politics, morality, property relation and capital across borders and geographies. 

Olu Oguibe’s “Sex Work Is Honest Work installations and gatherings are animated by the death of a young woman named Nokuphila Kumalo who was kicked and stomped to death on a Cape Town street by a man later identified as renowned South African artist Zwelethu Mthethwa. Kumalo was only twenty-three-years old. She also happened to be a sex worker and her murderer is believed to have been a client. The first iteration of the work, an outdoor live installation called Pink and White Flowers in Potchefstroom, South Africa in 2018 consisted of 4,500 live flowering plants to commemorate Kumalo and, by extension, bring up pertinent subjects around sex work, sex workers’ rights, and sex- and gender-related violence.”


(Schedule might be subject to changes. Please visit the page regularly for updates).

SATURDAY 28 August, 2021


12.00 - 12.10 Poetic offering by Simone Lagrand

See video documentation ] 

12.10 - 12.30 Performance by Mavi Veloso

See video documentation ] 

12.30 - 12.45 Statement by Weaver Collective

                     Contextual offering  by Krista Jantowski & Amal Alhaag

See video documentation ] 

12.45 - 13.15 Statement by Hella Dee

13.15 - 14.00 Conversation with Quirine Lengkeek moderated by Krista Jantowski

See video documentation ] 

14.00 - 15.00 COMMUNAL LUNCH

15.00 - 15.10 Poetic offering by Simone Lagrand

See video documentation ] 

15.10 - 15.30 Talking Heads with Olu Oguibe  

See video documentation ] 

15.45 - 16.15 Statement by Pascale Obolo

See video documentation ] 

16.15 - 16.45 Q&A with audience moderated by Krista Jantowski

See video documentation ] 

16.45-17.00 SHORT BREAK

17.00 - 17.30 Talking Heads with Kamala Kempadoo

See video documentation ] 

17.30 - 18.15 In conversation with ...,  moderated by Amal Alhaag

18.15 - 18.30 Q&A followed by Outro

18.30 - 19.30 COMMUNAL DINNER

SUNDAY 29 August, 2021


14:00 - 15:00 COMMUNAL LUNCH@Posttheater

15.00 - 15.15 Poetic Offering by Simone Lagrand

See video documentation ] 

15.15 - 16.15 A conversation with Hella Dee, Dinah de Riquet-Bons, Barby Asante moderated by Dipsaus

See video documentation ] 

16.15 - 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 - 17.00 Statement by Thot Scholar

See video documentation ] 

17.00 - 17:30 Q&A with the audience moderated by Krista Jantowski

See video documentation ] 

16.45 - 17.00 Statement by Ola Hassanain 

See video documentation ] 

17.00 - 17.45 Conversation with Pascale Obolo, Ola Hassanain & Aude Mgba

See video documentation ] 

17.45 - 18.30 Sonic Lecture by Barby Asante

See video documentation ] 

18:30 - 18:45 Outro Statement 

19:00 - COMMUNAL DINNER@Posttheater



Rosendaalsestraat 27,


The Netherlands


With respect to Posttheater’s COVID-19 regulation in line with Dutch Governement policies and DAI’s COVID-19 protocol, we are able to welcome in our midst a limited number of members of the public. 

For those unable to make it, we are eagerly looking forward to having you joining our LIVE STREAM. Link to purchase a V-Ticket will be provided on the day of the event.



With respect to all participants coming from vatious countries (many of which maintain strict rules with regards to public gatherings) entrance at the venue is  granted only with a negative Covid-19 test (not older than 24h) – for all irrespective of being vaccinated, unvaccinated or recovered. Alternatively we offer a set-test upon arrival at the lobby of Posttheater. 

Kindly respect distance and wear a mask when not seated. 

If you experience Covid-19 related symptoms prior to the event, please restrain from joining us. 


You are welcome to join our communal vegetarian meals prepared by Axe & Porridge

RESERVE a meal at n.doulos@artez.nl till August 27. 

LUNCH: 6 euros

DINNER (+ a glass of wine): 9 euros

Payments to take place on location via Tikkie (mobile phone) or by cash (kindly asked to provide the exact amount) 


Senior coordinator Planetary Campus: Nikos Doulos 

Co-ordinator facilities | technical support : Peter Sattler

Co-ordinator hospitality: Jacq van der Spek

Documentation: Baha Görkem Yalim; see our Video Archive

Guest reporter: Sonia Kazovsky (DAI, 2017)

Communication design: Lauren Alexander & Hanna Rullmann

Artistic director DAI: Gabriëlle Schleijpen


The alliance between DAI and sonsbeek20-24 radiates outwards in multiple efforts, culminating into a joint program, a hybrid of sonsbeek20-24 ‘s councils and DAI’s Roaming Assembly (a recurring, guest curated public symposium). Iterations revolve around, touch upon and articulate in different ways the connections between the educational efforts of DAI and the line of questioning around 'labour and its sonicities' that is central to sonsbeek20-24.


Roaming Assembly is an annually recurring curriculum component of the DAI's  Planetary Campus.