In what promises to be a lively, risque and feminist-centric discussion as part of Feminist Book Fortnight, four people with very different experiences of obscenity law discuss what the term means in supposedly liberal modern society, and its implications for those whose sexuality still falls outside of Gayle Rubin’s ‘charmed circle’.
Pandora/Blake will lead a panel featuring:
Lola Phoenix Lola is an agender identified LGBT activist, working in various capacities for a better world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people since the ripe age of 12. Lola volunteers for a variety of organisations including Action for Trans Health and Stonewall Housing.
Zak Jane Keir Zak Jane Keir is a veteran writer about sex and sexuality, happy to be known as a pornographer, feminist, storyteller and Morris dancer. She has been a member of Feminists against Censorship for a couple of decades at leat and was part of the launch team on For Women magazine in the early 90s. Now she writes mainly erotic fiction though is considering putting her memoirs out, runs bookstalls at fetish markets and does a few other things when she gets round to it.
Itziar Bilbao Urrutia Aka Ms Tytania, aka The Urban Chick Supremacy Cell, is a fetish video producer, visual artist and writer. Her background in art, with an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, gave her a creative and critical approach to fetish, and specifically, to her her sexuality, Femdom.
From 2010, she has been working on, The Urban Chick Supremacy Cell (http://uc-sc-femdom.com/), a fetish content website where she explores new narratives and representations of female sexual dominance, challenging the male gaze hegemony of mainstream porn.
The UC-SC places Femdom within the aesthetics and rhetoric of historical political radicalism, such as Valerie Solanas and Ulkrike Meinhoff. The UC-SC was the first independent adult studio to win against ATVOD's proposed banning and censorship of non-normative porn production in UK.
Pandora/Blake is a genderqueer feminist pornographer, sex worker and sexual freedom campaigner. Their films have won multiple international awards and their website Dreams of Spanking has survived legal battles against porn censorship in the UK. Pandora/Blake is an active campaigner for sex work decriminalisation and labour rights, obscenity law reform, civil liberties and human rights, particularly relating to freedom of expression, gender, sexuality and privacy. They are official spokesperson for Backlash, which defends freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults in the UK, and organises alongside the Open Rights Group and the English Collective of Prostitutes. An experienced public speaker, Pandora/Blake regularly appears on panels and gives talks and media interviews. They run a Patreon to support her unpaid activism and political work.
As a sex worker and porn-maker, Pandora/Blake works passionately to increase social and legal acceptance of marginalised sexualities, educate the public about kink and BDSM, and reduce stigma and shame. They were awarded Publicist of the Year at the Sexual Freedom Awards 2015 for their efforts advocating for sex workers' rights. They are currently working on a book about the politics and psychology of dark fantasies, particularly the ones we don’t dare admit to in public.
Their pornographic films are story-driven and gender-critical, exploring kinky fantasies via a queer erotic gaze. They are the sole owner and operator of Dreams of Spanking, which launched in 2011, faced government censorship for its unapologetic depiction of consensual BDSM, and successfully appealed against closure by the UK porn regulator in 2016. Their work has won awards including Best BDSM Scene 2015 at the Feminist Porn Awards, and first prize in the 2015 Short Film Competition at the Berlin Porn Film Festival. Their production ethos is performer-centric, and prioritises transparency, explicit performer consent, and equal pay for equal work.