Highlights from the Special Events
Within our key topic „Exit from Prostitution – Now!“, our top level panel conversation „Stop Buying Sex – Now!“ focused on prostitution, human trafficking and the legal ban on the purchase of sex in the context of the so called “Nordic Model”. The panel counted with the following participants: the prospective lawyer Sandra Norak, Detective Inspector Simon Häggström, Police Superintendent Helmut Sporer and Inge Bell who is a board member of TERRE DES FEMMES and SOLWODI.
Swedish Detective Inspector Häggström provided illustrative information about the so called “Nordic Model”, which decriminalises women in prostitution. It protects them and offers help to get out of the system of prostitution. The clients however are criminalised in this model which deprives the prostitution marked of it’s breeding ground with it’s violent outgrowths: the money that circulates within the system of prostitution.
Sandra Norak survived the so called “loverboy method”. She spoke about the violence she had to endure on a daily basis in her activities as a prostitute. Sandra Norak also spoke about her experiences at cinema and school screenings. She elaborated on the psychological consequences of experiencing violence in brothels and as a prostitute on the streets and explained the trauma women suffer from, even years after getting out of prostitution. Another aspect she elaborated on was how current legislation is a push factor for human trafficking in Germany. Sandra Norak also advocates for a legal ban on the purchase of sex.
In addition to that, representatives from the association “Sisters – for an Exit from Prostitution”, Marie Kaltenbach, as well as Sarah Kim from #ichbinkeinfreier (I’m not a John) presented new perspectives to students in Tübingen when they argued in favor of the “Nordic Model”, astonishing the audience. It was also new to many, that there are many reasons for addressing men with their campaigns: On the one hand, because many provide the prostitution market with money, on the other hand, because “customers” are often not aware that buying these “services” and transforming a “No” into a “Yes” through the use of money, is not compatible with human dignity.
Our audience was especially interested in the films of the key topic “Religious Fundamentalisms”. The emotional and powerful feature film „Nur eine Frau – A Regular Woman“ about an “honor” killing in Berlin filled the cinema auditorium at both its screenings. The audience was fascinated hearing producer Sandra Maischberger talk about her experience of creating this film. The Austrian comedy „What Have We Done to Deserve This?” was one of this year’s Women’s Worlds box office hits and „God exists, her Name is Petrunya“ filled the seats at the festival’s opening night and it’s second screening.
Other favorites were the film „Vai“ which was created by eight indigenous filmmakers from different South Sea Island States, and three films that are candidates for the 2020 Academy Awards: the Moroccan feature film „Adam“, „The Perfect Candidate“ from Saudi Arabia as well as „The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão“ from Brazil. The film „Savovi-Stitches“ which tells the story of a child abduction scandal on a massive scale in Serbia was also well-received by the audience, which engaged in a vivid exchange with producer Milena Garfield, guest of the festival.
School Screenings with guests
As in previous years, we conducted screenings for local schools during our festival. Students had the chance to speak with sociologist, author and activist Necla Kelek about the film „Nur eine Frau – A Regular Woman“, to discuss the film „Loverboy“ with Sandra Norak and converse with Chelo Alvarez-Stehle about her personal documentary „Sands of Silence, Waves of Courage“ that focuses on abuse in different countries.