The porn star hoping to challenge people's perceptions of refugees

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Monday 31 October 2016 09:30
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(Picture: Antonio Suleiman/YouTube/screengrab)

Angela Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy saw over one million refugees arriving to Germany in 2015 – the vast majority fleeing the civil war in Syria.

Not only that, but the images painted of these refugees were overwhelmingly of victimhood - the news has been saturated with images of crying children and refugee camps.

Picture: Bulent Kilic/Getty/A Syrian refugee family from Aleppo, stay under a shelter during a rainy day at Uskudar in Istanbul(Picture: Bulent Kilic/Getty/A Syrian refugee family from Aleppo, stay under a shelter during a rainy day at Uskudar in Istanbul)

Antonio Sulieman wanted to change that.

The 19-year-old Syrian refugee is a porn actor.

Suleiman told Swedish newspaper The Local that when he arrived to Germany back in 2012, at the age of 15, he had aspirations to travel to the US or the UK and break it in the film industry.

Many porn actors start off with similar dreams, but when he was caught in customs while trying to board a plane to the UK, he was forced to rethink his options.

Despite having contacted many industry professionals about training, he found himself rejected.

There’s a kind of discrimination against refugees within the German community. Many Syrians in Germany claim that there’s no racism, and that everything is good. I think they are lying to themselves.

However, the discrimination appears to have extended to the pornography industry.

Whenever German producers found out I was Syrian, I was met with negativity and refusal yet again.

Eventually in 2014 – at the age of 18 – he contacted a British producer under a German name and, after sending pictures, landed himself an audition in Amsterdam followed by two porn movies where he earned a total of €1000 (£900).

I was never contacted for shooting again. After three months, I found that everyone I had worked with was doing new movies, but I had been sidelined.

Suleiman did not let it discourage him, and instead he shot his own porn film in Barcelona, The Arabian King.

He continues to work with American producers, and while his family believes he has brought shame to them, his friends remain supportive.

For over five years now, Syrians have mainly been pictured under rubble, massacred, their dead bodies in the Mediterranean, or humiliated throughout their perilous journey to Europe. Surely that’s what degrades and violates the ‘Syrian body’.

Yes, I used my body. I used it to show that this body can make love, can have sex, and does not only exist in order to die.

HT The Local

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