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August 2021

Jennifer Merlyn Scherler: My Internet Is Not Your Internet but My Reality

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“My Internet Is Not Your Internet but My Reality” is a video lecture and performance that explores the online (in)visibilities of sex workers and the entanglement of internet worlds with other realities. The video begins with an observation that the internet feels like a general and ubiquitous infrastructure to many by now, yet this is not the case for groups of people marginalized from mainstream politics due to their identity, profession, or geographical location. It is based on Scherler’s research into the ways online platform monopolists exclude sex workers from social media through the overzealous implementation of national laws, content policies, and digital gentrification.

Beyond this bleak judicial dimension, the video transcends the lecture, slam poetry, and music performance formats, absorbing the reenactments made popular by recent entertainment apps like TikTok. Through this stylistic multiplicity and pedagogical virtuosity, the video is a powerful meditation on how the internet directs the movement of our bodies, minds, and hearts in certain ways and how we should be sensually and politically aware of this control.

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