Documentary Photographer Ana Pollard @ Pollachik Photography is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From her project ‘Maison Close‘. To see Ana’s body of work click on any image.
Prostitution has been legal in Geneva since 1942. Sexual services may be sold between two consenting adults and is considered an independent economic activity. Coercion is illegal and cracked down on by the police. Sex workers register as self-employed and pay taxes on their earnings to the State.
Prostitution is still considered contrary to good morals by the Supreme Court and bureaucracy can make life difficult for sex workers. The famous Swiss prostitute and novelist Grisélidis Réal fought throughout her life for the rights of sex workers and in 1982 founded the association Aspasie that continues with this endeavor today. Grisélidis is now buried at the Cimitière des Rois next to Calvin and Borges.
Around four thousand sex workers are active over the course of a year in the Swiss canton They are particularly noticeable in Geneva’s red light district, the Pâquis, working the street, salons, bars and cabarets. The numbers have risen over the past years due to the deterioration of the economic situation, the higher prices in Switzerland and the clamp down on prostitution in countries such as France.
These photographs and the accompanying quotes were captured from spending time with sex workers in Geneva over the period of two months in 2015. Real names are not used.
By Ana Pollard