This essay explores the queer world of Toronto’s Operation Snatch (formerly known as The Scandelles), focusing in particular on two of their productions related to sex work, Les Demimondes and Neon Nightz. The essay details the performances, which focus on prostitution and exotic dance, respectively, and discusses whether performances about sex work ought to be considered queer performance art. Arguing that Operation Snatch’s performances constitute “queer world-making,” this essay considers how Operation Snatch leverages affect to engage their audiences in the composition of a queer “world” that critiques popular and burlesque images of sex workers, in which their critical self-representations as sex workers can come to life. By adapting burlesque’s ironic “gaze back” to the “world-making” capacities of cabaret, Operation Snatch produces sex work-related performances that can critique sex workers’ marginalization in both popular and burlesque culture.


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pp. 50-53
Launched on MUSE
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