is a network of feisty, feminist and fiercely independent women, who also happen to be strippers. Founded in 2014, the ELSC are committed to supporting and promoting self-organisation among strippers and lapdancers, challenging stigma around sex work, standing up to exploitation and fighting for improved safety and harm-reduction in the wider sex industry.
ELSC has grown up out of a grassroots collaboration of striptease performers working together in East London SEVs (Sexual Entertainment Venues). The founding members of the collective were all united around a shared set of workplace grievances, and a mutual desire to see their safety, dignity and employment rights acknowledged within their industry.
Changes in licensing law and economic trends have lead to deterioration in working conditions in SEVs, leading to greater levels of workplace abuses and business malpractice. The business model of SEVs relies on the misclassification of workers, and their subsequent lack of access to employment rights.
ELSC are dedicated to building worker led strategies, creating opportunities and growth for performers outside of the exploitative business model of a regular strip club. Since 2014, ELSC have grown a viable and sustainable business that is run entirely by dancers/ex-dancers themselves. From pop-up strip club parties, to public talks, art exhibitions and life drawing classes, ELSC remain an autonomous organisation in charge of creating their own working conditions and supporting members of their community.
Since their inception, ELSC have worked in partnership with multiple organisations, institutions and individuals, including United Voices of The World, X-Talk, English Collective of Prostitutes, SWARM, Royal Academy of Arts, Café Des Arts (University of Durham), Sexpression (Edinburgh University), Sexual Freedom Awards, Strangelove Festival (Antwerp), Leftfield Tent (Glastonbury Festival), Channel Four Shorts, The Common House, Peggy Golec, Kovács László, and Julie Cook Photography.
ELSC have also collaborated with a number of local venues in East London, including Red Gallery, Queen of Hoxton, Doomed Gallery, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Club Aquarium, The Crown and Shuttle, The White Horse, and 23 Paul St.