Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective

“Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective.” 2005. DVD. One Tiny Whale. See: http://www.eastvanporncollective.org/.

(Annotated by Sarah Lawrance)

It essentially began with a couple of people wanting to make a documentary about an anarcha-feminist porn collective. Since they knew of no such group, these folks eventually became the collective they set out to document. What unfolded was a part-documentary, part-fictional account of what it might look like for a group of people to collectively make pornography by, for, and about one another according to feminist principles. Regardless of whether the film documents a “real” group or project, I find it particularly interesting because of the possibilities it presents—because of what it envisions.

The first in a 3-part series of films on anarcha-feminist decision-making and collective process, Made in Secret is less about porn and more about the process of making it according to feminist principles—though the porn it describes is nonetheless sex-positive, queer-friendly, respectful, validating, and empowering.

The process developed by this group presents a real and radical challenge to mainstream approaches to porn production, and even to other self-described feminist porn producers! For example, the collective process, at base, is egalitarian and democratic rather than hierarchical or coercive. Roles within the porn collective rotate every few months to balance power dynamics and workload responsibilities. Participants in the project—whether appearing on screen or not—have an equal say in how the film is used, and, true to consensus-based processes, no decision passes unless everyone affected by the decision is comfortable with it. All of these guidelines and more foreground the group’s porn-making, and thus help maintain the trust that makes it possible for the group to continue operating as it does.

Even though this film is not wholly based on a “real” project, I think what it describes is very real in its possibilities. Imagining porn projects that so defy industry norms in both content and production process is a small step toward creating a world where people are treated more fairly in all aspects of our lives, and where cultural production is held to a much higher ethical standard.

Advertisements

~ by artpoped on April 20, 2009.

One Response to “Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective”

  1. http://www.freedomporn.org/smut/Ethical_Smut
    This is an attempt by me to start a thought on how to produce porn more ethically in today’s world. Something along the lines of Fair Trade for porn.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: