Intimate lives of sex workers


Some fun, humor and a whole lot of awareness is what the month long Safer Life Campaign has brought this year. The campaign,which is being held for the sixth time, started on December 2nd 2013with the Wise Up program in Addis Ababa as well as 28 regional areas.
Safer-Life has in place a series of activities to bring awareness concerning HIV/AIDS, STIs and appropriate condom usage through entertainment for the youth and groups most at risk. The different activities include a photographic exhibition featuring pictures captured by sex workers entitled: “Saturday and Sex Workers”, a street art exhibition,. There is also a dart competition called, Safer Life and a music festival.
Among the several events is also a cartoon exhibition entitled “Baluka” which refers to boyfriends or husbands of sex workers.This particular exhibition that is being shown at the Shega Crafts and Gallery was launched on the 10th of December.
The cartoons portray the typical life of sex workers and their interaction with their boyfriends accompanied by funny texts. The works were done by several artists who took time to study the lives of sex work in different environments.
The displayed cartoons also touch on society’s perception of sex workers. To capture the attention of those who visit and to help them acquire  a deeper understanding, the exhibition also featured a room that is made up to look like a sex worker’s room, complete with a small bed, red light, condoms and other details.
Although it is a cartoon exhibition, it is certainly not appropriate for children among others as some of the featured works have a very sexual content.
“Baluka” is the sixth exhibition to be featured by the Safer Life campaign. Previous exhibitions revolved around Female Sex Workers, Life in Universities, Ethiopian Housemaids, populations that are ‘at risk’, Substance Abuse and Vulnerability to HIV.
The one-month long Safer-Life campaign is being conducted in celebration of World AIDS Day