Normal - Real Stories from the Sex Industry

A Global Capitalism and Intimate Industries conference film screening.

Italian filmmaker and ethnographer Nicola Mai brings the life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen. Dr. Mai will be present at the screening.

How can we represent the complexity of migrants’ trajectories within the global sex industry? How can we give voice to migrants while protecting their identities? How can we interrogate the politics of victimhood in representations of all migrant sex workers as either victims or villains within hegemonic fictions and documentaries on sex trafficking?

These issues and questions are at the core of Normal, a 48 minute creative documentary that brings the life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen. Drawing on original interviews with people working in the sex industry in Albania, Italy and the UK, documentary director and ethnographer Nicola Mai reveals their unheard stories. The viewer is continually challenged by their words, their dreams and the lives that they lead.


Nicola Mai is an Italian ethnographer and filmmaker working as Professor of Sociology and Migration Studies at the Working Lives Research Institute of London Metropolitan University and at LAMES - the Mediterranean Laboratory of Sociology of Aix-Marseille University. His academic writing and films focus on the experiences and perspectives of migrants selling sex and love in the globalized sex industry in order to live their lives. 

  • Gender Studies Program
  • University of Southern California
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, 422
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 90089-4352 USA