alicia vera

Documentary Photographer
  
Eden
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Nationality: Mexican- American
Biography: Alicia Vera is a Mexican-American documentary photographer. She studied at Miami-Dade College in South Florida and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA where she began to document the complex lives of sex workers. Eventually, she... read on
Public Story
Eden
Credits: alicia vera
Updated: 01/06/14

I met Eden while working on a project about strippers in San Francisco, CA. She had just flown into the city to live out her fantasy of becoming an exotic dancer. Baby, a slightly older dancer and prostitute, was one of the first people Eden met at the strip club and after two years of friendship, decided to put herself in Baby's hands. She became her pimp and taught her the ins and outs of escorting. Eden was eventually caught by an undercover task force. It was her third arrest in the state and was now facing jail time. The recent events had shaken her up but she felt she had learned enough “game” to become independent and left Baby. Before her court date, I accompanied Eden to Lancaster, VA where she visited her mother and for the first time openly discussed her work as an escort. For hours she questioned her motivations, her safety, and her over all well being but ultimately she disapproved of her daughter's choice. Her court hearing was in Annapolis, MA and despite her previous arrests, the judge let her off with a $300 fine. A few hours later, we found ourselves in an undisclosed hotel room. Candles lit, curtains shut, clothes off. While I began this project to document the world of prostitution and to initiate dialogue on issues that apply to every women such as self-identity and female chauvinism, I feel that this project is ultimately about a woman's struggle to find herself.
“Nobody IS what they DO, but whatever we do becomes a part of us. I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an artist, and a provider of sex in exchange for money. Although I set aside pieces of myself to protect them, I do not disappear. The daughter, sister, friend, and artist that I am outside of work will always carry around the memories and lessons I’ve gained.” - Eden, 21

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By alicia vera — For The Globe and Mail
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By alicia vera — Stripped is an ongoing project centered on the lives of the exotic dancers at Roaring 20’s, a San Francisco strip club. The main focus is the..
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