The members of Berlin Strippers Collective met as coworkers in a small Berlin strip club, frustrated by the working conditions they encountered in the industry and eager to explore stripping as an artform outside its usual context. A political as well as a creative collective, BSC advocate not only to decriminalise, but destigmatise sex work worldwide, besides actively fighting to rid the sex industry of racial and gender discrimination. “We see ourselves clearly as feminists, yet constantly find ourselves having to explain to people why we are not a contradiction; why our work and how we display ourselves and our bodies is not contrary to feminism,” they say.
Following successful life drawing sessions where BSC members were immortalised by local artists and online cabaret-striptease shows in collaboration with London drag talents Georgie Bee and Iffy, this year the collective is planning to set up mobile peep shows around Berlin and launch the Stripperature book club, inviting people to join them in discussing political texts – in their underwear. But the collective’s biggest dream of all, is to open their very own strip club. “Opening our own club will be our way of showing the world that stripping can actually be powerfully feminist,” they say. The club would be gender-diverse and dancer-owned-and-operated. “Through working as strippers, we have learned to take control of our bodies – now, we are ready to take control of our business,” they say. “This is how we practice our feminism and most of all, show that even in our stigmatised, taboo-laden business, things can be done differently.”
Text Zsofia Paulikovics