Awareness or Exploitation? Vice Covers DTES, Vancouver

by Janelle

Part time harm reduction worker, Jen Osborne spends her weeks chatting with hundreds of drug addicts and homeless people in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada.   She tells the stories of ten women in Vice Magazine’s “Street Wear: A Wig and Some Make Up Can Still Trick Canadian Cops,” who fall into no fewer than three government assigned categories of HIV or hepatitis C positive, schizophrenic, bipolar, transvestite, cancer patient, drug dealer, sex worker, low income, and sexually abused. 

Jen has captured these women before and after they are dressed in their elaborate disguises used to make themselves harder to identify for cops in Vancouver. The women use wigs, stage make-up and costumes in attempts to separate their personal lives from their lives as hustlers, prostitutes, drug addicts, and thieves.

Jen talks with them about the merits of their disguises and reveals their heartbreaking stories.  See more before & after pictures and read their stories here.



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