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Are you sure you want to delete your Sputniknews. Since you already shared your personal data with us when you created your personal account, to continue using it, please check the box below: In all language versions of the sputniknews. A user comment will be deleted if it: Other ways to sign in: Get push notifications from Sputnik International. This might explain Mariana's sense of disillusionment. But the greatest mark of success for the transvestites is the body itself. They take great care of their body and this is expressed in their hair, implants, liposuction treatments, laser depilation treatments, clothing, perfumes, jewelry and accessories.

Italian brands freely circulate among the group as symbols of success in overseas work. It also seemed to me that, for transvestites, the decision to migrate to Italy can indeed be described as a strategy for social improvement, but it also involves other choices and projects, including love and affection. When I asked the mediator in Rome about with whom transvestites lived while in the city, she told me about a visit she had made to a poor neighborhood where many transvestites lived in the same house under precarious conditions.

The fact that transvestites are also not often seen moving about during the day also seems to feed into the notion that they live in a situation which is similar to imprisonment. I believe that the realties these transvestites deal with in Brazil often distances them from the NGOS, which recite discourses regarding life and the quality of life with which the transvestites do identify.

As I've mentioned above, many transvestites in Italy live in conditions similar to those which they live under in Brazil and, for this reason, they do not recognize these situations as imprisonment or sexual exploitation. As in Brazil, they live in communal habitations where one transvestite is the owner or renter of the property to which the others pay daily rent in boarding house fashion. In some houses, food is included in the price of the daily rent; in others, no.

There doesn't seem to be a specific rule for this sort of contract. In Brazil, prices are established daily and in Italy weekly. In Europe, this sort of situation may be intensified by the fact that most of these transvestites are also undocumented immigrants. August is a holiday month in Milan and, as such, is a period considered to be difficult by many transvestites. This difficulty, however, is not associated with a reduction in the number of clients nor is it related to the late summer climate.

Rather, it has to do with a reduction in the number of people moving about the city during the day, which results in greater chances that the transvestites will be "seen" by the police: They see us from far off. We might just be walking down the street, but we'll be dragged off to the precinct house. Once they put me in the back of a cop car They only let me go because an Indian killed an Italian, so they let me loose and ran off after that case. Adriana Piscitelli's considerations regarding undocumented Brazilian prostitutes in Spain are also pertinent in this context, as well as her observations regarding the repressive activities of the Spanish government.

The prostitutes consider deportation from Spain to Brazil to be the greatest risk which they face in their daily lives. The police summons is a well-known document among transvestites in Italy. They know how the deportation mechanism works and many of them have already been through Italian jails. They know that the information passed word of mouth through their social networks regarding police activities is precious. As is the case with other undocumented workers, the larger and more interlinked a transvestite's social networks, the greater the chances for her to make an adequate life in her destination country Assis, The socialization of knowledge integrates the mutual aid network and also permits money to circulate between transvestites and their families, for many transvestites prefer to deposit their earnings in a friend's account.

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Adriana Piscitelli c emphasizes the importance of recognizing the transnational space that is created by the circulation of money, gained in sex work, in the countries of origin of these migrants. The money made by transvestites in Italy circulates in Brazil and one often hears the remark that the first money made in Europe is destined to buy a house for one's mother in Brazil.

I didn't buy a house for my mother, because transvestites first think of their moms when they make money. My mom already had a house, however. So instead I reformed everything for her. I put everything of the best into that house and now I send her salary every month. I bought a plot of land. I'd already bought my mother's house with the money I'd made here in Brazil Priscila. I sent thousand Reais so she [her mother] could buy a house. I also put my brothers through school, paying both their tuitions.

I bought a house for my mother and I help with her bills every month.

•Ultima ora•

I give what I need to give and take care of my nephews Clarissa. The money made in Europe gives transvestites power in their families, but not only among their families. I'm not here linking transvestite migration to purely economic considerations arising from poverty. What these women want is a better life, confirming Adriana Piscitelli's observations regarding Brazilian prostitutes in Spain. The criteria utilized to classify what a "better life" actually is may vary from individual to individual. Here is a fragment from my field notes which shows some of this variety: When I'm sad and down, I open my closet and lie on the bed, looking at my dresses and I think: Before I had one single lime green dress that I could carry in my purse.


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There's a lot of them [dresses], right? During my fieldwork, undertaken in May , discourses and practices regarding undocumented migrants in Rome became much more restrictive. The government lead the way with discourses which the police put into practice. As is the case in Brazil, prostitution is not a crime in Italy, though police activities seem to follow a pattern similar to those in Brazil.

The Italian police do not attack prostitution head on, but use different strategies to attempt to penalize prostitutes' clients. In this scenario, police actions are frequently accused of violating the human and civil rights of prostitutes, often violently. In Rome, a Brazilian transvestite was filmed being arrested b y a local T. Soon after, this broadcast was distributed on YouTube. While one officer shoves the arrested transvestite into the back of a patrol car, the other officers clap and the "citizens" observing the event scream insults at the prisoner.

The support showed by the general population to these sorts of policing activities was further enflamed by appeals published in newspapers and magazines in May demanding further police actions to restore public order. The official discourse presented in these publications not only called for the repression of sexual exploitation, but also made reference to the need to fight trafficking in persons. The State has thus engaged several NGOs to identify and protect trafficking victims. The police activities which can be observed in the above mentioned video, however, clearly violate the principles of the Palermo Protocol.

Even when official discourses and the media insist upon associating prostitution and human trafficking for sexual exploitation, one can clearly see that public policies are generally not directed towards victim protection. For example, although the Roxanne Project is recognized as a strategy for getting transvestites to denounce traffickers, only in did the government start offering shelter sin Rome which could receive transvestites, according to one of my interviewee who works with the program. When questioned about the number of transvestites who received permission to work after denouncing a trafficker, this woman claimed to not know of a single case.

She said that the only two transvestites who had denounced traffickers that she knew of had already returned to Brazil.

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She justified this fact by claiming that the court case was drawn out. She could not say whether or not these two transvestites had been deported. Italy seems to follow the perspective outlined by Adriana Piscitelli in which measures taken to eradicate the commercial sex trade are understood to be anti-trafficking measures and vice-versa. Along with a verbal warning, prostitutes' clients will receive a small booklet of information put together by the Committee for Equality and Opportunity in collaboration with assistants from the Social Policies division and the Presidency of the 4th Municipal district.

This booklet seeks to sensitize prostitutes' clients regarding the consequences of their behavior. It informs them that the majority of prostitutes live under conditions equivalent to slavery and the fact that the trafficking of prostitutes is now the third largest form of trafficking in the world for criminal organizations, after drugs and weapons. The booklet also reminds clients that it is a crime to be with a underage prostitute.

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Regarding the way in which Italy deals with prostitution, the abolitionist model is the legal statute that's most common among the countries of the European Union and, according to Adriana Piscitelli b , this model oriented the Convention to suppress Trafficking in Persons and the Exploitation of Prostitutes in Prohibitions against cruising and stopping are not limited to the Via Salaria.

When I decided to circulate in the areas where prostitution is practiced and where my informants work, the police blocked my entry into the area and threatened to fine my car. I was invited to undertake a tour of the area in the car of the member of the outreach project during her working hours and was later told to communicate with the department in the Commune of Rome in order to mark a date and specific hour if I wanted to see the area on my own.

These restrictions on moving around in a public space impressed themselves upon me. The calm way in which the police told me about them bothered me, as it seemed to my eyes to be a wholly arbitrary action which was being undertaken via a simple administrative fiction called the "Divieto di Fermata contro la prostituzione". I chose the late afternoon to get to know these spaces because that seemed to me to be the safest time of day.

Coming into the Piazza Pino Pascale the scene of the arrest of the transvestite, which I will relate below a sign posted by the "divieto di transito" announced a strategy adopted to diminish prostitution in public spaces: These signs were distributed up and down the avenue. To my untrained eye, it didn't seem that the avenue could be covered by the criteria established by Article of the Italian Highway Code 23 which describes the "divieto di transito" and the "divieto di fermata".

It was a large avenue which, on the left, contained substantial parking lot separated from the road by a graffiti covered wall. This appeared to mark the borders of an apparently deactivated factory.

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On the other side of the avenue there was another open space which also appeared to be a parking lot which was used to train beginning drivers. The presence of a police car indicated also indicated the management of this space and the regulation of its legitimate uses and users. During the period in which I observed the avenue, three cars were stopped by the police. All three were driven by single men who were quickly liberated after being duly identified. On the other side of the street, three transvestites sat next to a public bathroom.

During the time I watched, two potential clients came up to the transvestites, one on a motorcycle and one driving a car. Each man left the area accompanied by a transvestite. Another transvestite arrived on foot and alone, after parking her car further up the block. All this movement took place apparently without reference to the police presence in the neighborhood, nor the signs spread up and down the block. However, as soon as I approached, it became obvious that the presence of an unknown person excited suspicions.

The transvestites abandoned their spot, avoiding contact with me. The ease with which they left the area showed that, although they were apparently sitting calmly and carelessly, they were in fact highly attentive to the possibilities which the area offered for a quick getaway. I made many frustrated attempts to contact transvestites on the streets of Rome. When they didn't run, they denied being Brazilian and claimed to be Italian or even Peruvian.

These refusals and suspicions were not entirely due to the fact that I was an unknown Brazilian researcher. People who work for the Highway Unit also report meeting the same sort of behavior. This situation can be understood via a fragment of my interview with the Highway unit's cultural mediator who compared the project I coordinate in Brazil with her project in Italy by saying "We're on opposite sides here: I represent the government and you defend the transvestites".

I believe that at this moment, by using the pronouns "you" and "I", this woman was constructing a metaphor which adequately encompasses the opposing postures of the Brazilian and Italian governments in dealing with the questions of transvestites and prostitution. A veritable hunt for them was organized during the month of July, as revealed by the numbers presented in the story: This wave of repression followed the presentation of as-yet unapproved bill in the Senate which would modify Law of This law deals with punishments given to people adjudged to be "dangerous characters" and who out at risk the moral or physical integrity of minors or public health and safety.

Prostitutes are contemplated by this bill. By labeling all those who live off of prostitution as "dangerous" and subjecting them to the penalties of this law, Italy may in fact move from the abolitionist to the prohibitionist model of dealing with prostitution.

And it is exactly the penalty that's being contemplated which shows that this law is not as straight forward as it might first appear: The proposal now in front of the Italian Senate might even be interpreted as an explicit attempt to combat prostitution. However, the relationship between transvestites and the status of "dangerous character" antedates this proposal, as the signs placed along the areas of "highway prostitution" show.

I followed some of these highways which leave Rome and head towards the sea at Ostia, crossing Castel Fusano Park where I found several signs warning of "animali selvatici vaganti" wandering wild animals along the route. In this reflection on public space and its use, Sicily stands as a mirror of the contradictions that are rife throughout the peninsular: Sicily and Italy in general express a sublime, signified, pacific physicality. Certainly an image established in the collective imagination and frequently stereotypical. The gaze of a historic generation of photographers has focused on the relationship between this image and the post-modern panorama that has redefined the suburbs of our cities and above all from the s onwards they have devoted themselves to rewriting the image of Italy: Another, equally intense, interpretation is that of Franco Fontana who offers an alienating and ecstatic vision of those landscapes.

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