MF Akynos (1977, Kingston) is a New York based dancer, writer, and activist whose work references the omnipresent lingering of a ‘post racial’ society and sexual suppression, and offers resistance against a capitalistic, misogynistic culture with performance art. Her works on film, dance stages, and online often refer to sex work culture and the systems built on corrupt moral views that undermine the potential of all womyn by forcing them into a life of dependency on men. Akynos rejects the division presented when called a burlesque dancer and prefers to be recognized as a stripper on burlesque stages, and her work as a stripper demonstrates the union of her formal-and-self-training in West African Dance and Hip-Hop.
A staunch sex worker rights activist, Akynos has represented sex workers at the United Nations, lobbied at the New York state capitol, performed at the International Aids Conference (2016), and organized an event for The Brazilian Network of Prostitutes and the Prostitution Policy Watch at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. She has worked with organizations such as Desiree Alliance (where she is a part of the strategic committee and the resident Arts Coordinator), Best Practices Policy Project, SWOP-USA and SWOP-NYC, Red Umbrella Project, The Sex Workers Project, and the NJ Red Umbrella Alliance. Akynos is now working on developing The Black Sex Worker’s Collective, a non-profit organization of her inception, to assist current and former Black sex workers within the New York tri-state area with housing preservation, food, and transferable skills.