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2023-12-15 Ho Ho Ho'cial - Phibsboro, Dublin

There is a certain level of understanding that the Irish people and the Irish Govt. have for the plight of the people of Palestine, we know what it is like to be fucked over by a more powerful nation.  With that in mind, it is no surprise that there is an incredible amount of support for Palestine and its people within Ireland.  Irish folk want to help, and the only ways we can do that is through financial support and pressuring our Govt. to keep calling for sanctions against the Govt. of Israel until they stop this maniacal genocide.

Over the last couple of months, there have been endless amounts of fundraisers, marches and protests happening across our beautiful island.  Everything from cake sales, to concerts, to poetry recitals and much, much more.  Earlier in the year, Bohemians Football Club launched their 2023 away kit, in partnership with Palestine Sport for Life!

Mxtr Malone
Tonight it was the turn of Red Umbrella Film Festival.  Who are they? I hear you ask.  Well, let me paraphrase a few paragraphs from their website for you.  

Red Umbrella Film Festival is organised by current and former sex workers and their goal is to create conversation and community around the issues sex workers face in Ireland and internationally through film.  They want sex workers’ voices to be heard - in the media, on the screen, in research, and on the streets.

By creating space for sex workers’ stories, they hope to challenge stigma and shame, fight for their safety and self-determination, and build towards a decriminalised future.

Back in October of this year, they ran a four-day festival which included feature films and shorts, panel discussions, workshops, and a performance night and dance party.

I first heard of them only a few months ago through some burlesque performers here in Ireland.  I followed them on their socials and kept up to date with what they were doing.  

Now, I don't work in the sex industry, but my own belief is that decriminalisation must happen, if for no other reason than the safety of those who work in the industry.  If that is not your view, that's fine.  You do you.

Anyway, that's a discussion for another night.  I just wanted to give you some information on the good people behind the Ho Ho Ho'cial fundraiser tonight in Phibsboro, Dublin. 

After driving around for 20 minutes trying to find somewhere to park, I finally found a spot only to realise that it shut at 21:00!  Why?  For the love of God, why?  I got back in the car and the search for a car park space continued.  I eventually found street parking, but by now it was 8:30 and I'd a bit of a walk to the venue.

Enough about my parking issues and on to the show.  The line-up for the night included Victoria, Avatar, Mary V,  Leanne, Leela Baron and finally, our MC for the night, Mxtr Malone.

I'd only ever seen Leela perform before.  I'd photographed and briefly met her at the Candlelight Cabaret in Lost Lane back at the start of September.  So obviously I went over to say hi and introduce myself to the other performers.  It's always a good idea to ask if they'd any issues with me photographing them on the night, just so there is no misunderstanding.  

After some impromptu photoshoots with Mary V, Leanne, Victoria and Leela, I kicked back and waited for the night to really begin.  As I sat and checked lights and camera settings, I watched the performers warm up.  It was amazing to see.  These performers are 100% athletes.  Their physical fitness and strength are incredible, it was like watching a top gymnast get ready!

Sometimes, when you're at a gig or a show, you can get lost in a moment.  Maybe it's a song that's special to you, maybe a story that gives you a lump on your throat, or maybe, like tonight, you're just enjoying the show!  I was guilty of that at times, it was quite wonderful and I'd say the crowd absolutely loved it!

I could try and describe the performances, but I don't have the words to do them justice.  Check out the photos down below and you will get some idea of the fun.

In between performances, we were treated to some fun and games onstage with audience members trying to outdo each other and then, on a more serious note, a very sobering talk from Xavi K about some of the dangers they faced as a sex worker.  That drew a huge round of applause from the crowd. 

By the time JWY started their DJ set, it was time for me to leave. With street parking limited to 3 hours (even at late night) in Phibsboro, I was risking getting clamped, and no one likes that!  So, I said my goodbyes, made a donation as I left, and I hit the road!

Check out the work of Red Umbrella Film Festival and please don't give up on the people of Palestine.  They deserve a peaceful tomorrow as much as you and I do.  Don't fall for the misinformation coming out of Israel either.  And finally, hating what the Israeli Govt. and the IDF are doing to the people of Palestine is not antisemitic, just as supporting the people of Palestine is not the same as supporting Hamas.

Just a quick word on shows like tonight...  Contrary to popular belief, these shows are not dens of iniquity frequented by old men in dirty anoraks.  I've been to shows in Dublin, Cork, London, Berlin, Las Vegas and New York and the reality is that males are normally in the minority at the shows.
If you get offended by scantily clad people of all genders, then the problem is you and not the show. 

Anyway, time for some photos!  These may well be updated with new photos soon!





















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