“It’s almost like [Chinese company Bytedance] recognize[s] that technology’s influencing kids’ development, and they make their domestic version a spinach TikTok, while they ship the opium version to the rest of the world,” says Tristan Harris.
Strippers who would normally be inside the Star Garden Topless Dive Bar entertaining were instead outside on the sidewalk picketing. For the last five months, it’s become a common occurrence outside the club, but now with the backing of a major national union, they are one step closer to making history.
Carnival Strippers, originally a photo essay following the women who performed in travelling ‘girl shows’ in the United States from 1972 to 1975, is often held as a pioneering example of a photographic project that shares authorship with the subjects of its images.
Interrogating gender politics and self-representation, the project is defined as much by the testimonies of the women involved as the photographs Meiselas took of them. The project sought to make a feminist argument which resounds particularly today as the project celebrates 50 years since its making.
A third edition publication of the project, published as ‘Carnival Strippers Revisited’ now unfolds the central themes of the work through the additional of new material. Published on Steidl, it includes unseen color photographs, contact sheets, handwritten field notes, and interview transcriptions. Carnival Strippers Revisited explores how representation of ourselves and others is a process that refracts through many layers. In these layers, the creation of our stories is a collective activity mediated by multiple and far-reaching points of view.
In this new video, we share audio material from Meiselas’ interviews with the strippers and other carnival workers. Through testimonies not traditionally represented within the women’s liberation movement, the showgirls’ answers lucidly deconstruct the workings of patriarchy. At the same time, their managers’ disparaging comments provide a poignant and ironic counterpoint.
Meiselas, who sought to document a phenomenon already in decline, was interested in the ways we capture history from early on during her career. With this new expansion on Carnival Strippers, we see the project as a forerunner to her later explorations of archives in her works in Nicaragua and Kurdistan. Read curator Abigail Soloman-Godeau’s essay contextualising the photographer’s practice here.
Susan Meiselas is an American photographer who was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948. Her first major project, which we’ll look at here focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. Meiselas photographed at the fairs for three consecutive summers while also teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was published in 1976.
Speaking of the project, Meiselas said, “From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.”
“The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record.”
“The all-male audience typically included farmers, bankers, fathers, and sons, but “no ladies and no babies.” The degree of suggestion on the front stage and participation on the back stage under the tent varied greatly from town to town, depending on legislation and local leniency. The show stayed at each spot for three to five days each year; then the carnival was torn down, the truck packed up, and the women followed.”
In her introduction to Carnival Strippers, Meiselas said, “The girl show is a business and carnival stripping is competitive and seasonal. Those women who make it a career find winter employment on a series of related circuits—go-go bars, strip clubs, stag parties, and occasional prostitution. For most women the carnival is an interlude on the way to jobs as waitresses, secretaries and housewives.”
Former NBA world champion Paul Pierce and ESPN reportedly parted ways this week after the basketball analyst shared a video of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live. The video was widely shared across all social media platforms, which prompted the former NBA Finals MVP and ESPN to sever ties.
According to Jorge Alonso, the adult site CamSoda has offered Pierce the chance to live stream an NBA show with exotic dancers.
The offer letter read: “Dear Paul Pierce, I saw the news that you have parted ways with ESPN after you posted a video to social media of yourself with exotic dancers. Being that you are now unemployed, I would like to extend you a position at CamSoda as our first-ever ‘NBA Analyst.’ As our NBA Analyst, you would be required to stream yourself live on our platform every week night and discuss happenings around the NBA. Inside the NBA be damned. Here at CamSoda, we champion exotic dancers, cam girls and sex workers. We would be more than happy to accommodate your penchant for women and you’d be free to stream with them while they twerk in the background and more. We’d be willing to extend you an offer of up to $250,000.”
Since his playing career ended in 2017, Pierce has been working as an on-air analyst for ESPN. Pierce, a 10-time NBA All Star, has become known for providing some odd, fairly hot takes and certainly provides entertainment value.
Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported on Monday that Pierce and ESPN have “parted ways” after he posted the video of himself with exotic dancers on his Instagram account.
“ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on ‘NBA Countdown’ + other ESPN basketball programming. ESPN declined to comment.”
Pierce had not released an official statement or commented on the matter to reporters as of early evening on Monday. He did, however, appear to offer a reaction to the move via Twitter and hinted at an imminent landing spot.
Pierce played 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics and averaged 19.7 points on 45% shooting for his career. He was the No. 10 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas and also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers late in his career. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recently named Pierce as one of 14 finalists for its 2021 class, and he seems like a strong bet to be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
“Just to be recognized — if I do make it — just to be recognized in basketball lore forever,” Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” via Boston.com. “When I’m long gone and away, I’ve always said — look, the Hall of Fame is forever, and having my number hung up in the Boston Garden is forever. So it’s a true honor if it were to happen. I’m blessed that I was able to put time in on my craft.”
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Gardena earlier to demand justice for Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old Latino man fatally shot Thursday by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. Authorities said Guardado was armed and had fled from deputies, but have not said what prompted the shooting.
“He ran because he was scared,” one of the protesters’ signs read. “Why’d you kill that kid?” the crowd chanted.
People in cars raised their fists in solidarity and honked their horns. Aztec dancers beat drums at the front of the procession.
Protesters marched down West Redondo Beach Boulevard, where Guardado was shot, filling the street as they headed toward the sheriff’s station in Compton more than three miles away.
In this clip, Mark Henry speaks about dealing with racism in all aspects of his life, including when he was working with the WWE. He went on to share a story of addressing writers who wanted to push a “silverback” gorilla storyline about him, which Mark said was racist. He added that he spoke to WWE CEO Vince McMahon about his thoughts on the situation, and Vince told him that he should tell the writers that he wasn’t going to tolerate the storyline. When asked about the most foolish purchases he made during the beginning of his career, and Mark joked about putting a lot of dancers through college. You can hear more above.