Nicola Mai – Travel

Nicola Mai

Travel is a two-screen ethnofictional installation presenting the life history of Joy, a Nigerian migrant woman selling sex in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. Joy left Nigeria in order to help her family after the death of her father. She knew that she was going to sell sex before leaving, but was unaware of the hard working and life condition she would have had to face in France. After having endured several months of exploitation, Joy decides to reinterpret her story of migration as one of trafficking. With the help of an association she obtains humanitarian protection, but in order to keep helping her family and live her life she keeps selling sex at night.

Nicola Mai is an ethnographer and filmmaker working as Professor of Sociology Migration Studies at London Metropolitan University. His main research interest is the negotiation of gender, sexuality and subjectivity through the migration process, with particular reference to the globalised sex industry as a contested and ambivalent space of control and autonomy. In his academic work and films, Nick problematises prevailing understandings of the global sex trade as characterised by exploitation and victimisation, by showing the complexity of the subjective investments of the people involved. In his Sex Work Trilogy, he explores differents meeting experiences between migration and the sex industry.