Poetry reading by and for prostitutes

28/05/2012 at 15:29 (berita)

JAKARTA (JP) : Five prostitutes from various red-light districts in the city will read a poem by Floribertus Rahardi entitled Pledge of a Prostitute, at the Teater Tertutup in Taman Ismail Marzuki on July 30.

The poem which will be read by the invited guests is one of the poems in a book of collective pems by the author which was recently published.

Other poems by Rahardi will also be presented by a fellow poet Leon Augusta and by children of Teater Adinda.

Rahardi said that the prostitutes are given Rp 10.000 each for their participations in the poetry reading program.

The poet had a hard time in persuading the women to read his poem at the art center. He repeatedly visited the five prostitutes for chats while treating them to dinner, drinks and ciragettes to gain their confidence.

“They were also afraid of their pimps,” the poet said.

It does not take any special training to read out the poem, Rahardi said, all that they would have to do is to read it out just like any other pledge.

He emphatically rejected the idea that he is inviting the women just for a “cheap sensation” of his work. “This happens to be the promise of the prostitutes themselves,” he said.

He is in the opinion that when prostitutes are detained by the authorities and then sent to rehabilitation center, would only make the pimps procure more women from villages for prostitution.

Employment should be guaranteed for the women after they go to rehabilitation centers otherwise they would return to their former profession, Rahardi said. (Jakarta Post)

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