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In the last weeks we have been hanging out at Occupy London Stock Exchange, making a workshop at the Tent City University, scoping out possibilities for a photo romance session at the camp, and inviting people the next Precarious Workers Brigade open meeting http://precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com/ ….
8, 9, 10 July 2011
Alternativa Festival @ Wyspa Institute of Art
How do we survive and narrate the drama of precarity?
Calling all interns, volunteers, freelancers and workers on temporary contracts, and whomever identifies with the issue of free and precarious labour in the cultural and creative sectors.
You are invited to a 3 day open workshop of photoromance shooting, storytelling, anecdote sharing and common reflection of our work/life conditions and aspirations.
Passions, seduction, desires and betrayal all play a role in the experience of working for free or for badly paid and temporary work.
Think characters’ impersonations, wigs, speech bubbles and gestural tableaux: this photoromance shoot is a serious investigation in disguise…Because ‘The End’ of the fairytale is for us to re-write together.
Friday 16.00 – 21.00
Saturday 13.00 – 18.00
Sunday 13:00 – 16:00
Cultural workers whose generally meagre incomes and precarious survivals have been worsened by this government’s cuts are on their knees tonight, helping politicians and bureaucrats to launder their image!
In spite of a long history of support for anti-fascist and other social justice groups, the Whitechapel Art Gallery has been enlisted in a laundering scam to clean up the images of such unpopular figures as Nick Clegg, Samantha Cameron, Peter Mandelson and Ed Vaisey, each complicit in or responsible for cuts of 40% to the Arts, not to mention Education, the NHS, Benefit and Public Housing. They have been invited to select and display works of art from the Government Art Collection, representing such themes as peace, beauty and migration, while waging ugly wars on several nations, on the poor, on migrants and on those working in culture.
Adopting tactics from their friends at BP and other corrupt corporations, the Coalition are clearly using art and its so-called ‘public’ institutions to make their dirty things seem pleasant.
And we are letting them!
It is clear that cultural leaders who rallied around the flacid statement ‘cut us don’t kill us’ were not working to serve the interests of the majority of the people working in the arts but sudding up for years of scrubbing the government’s soiled pants to save their own. By supporting this government they are encouraging the elitism that so many have worked against in efforts to democratise culture.
This summer, let’s put a stop to the laundering.
… engage in creative direct action, interventions, letter-writing and demonstrations to put a stop to this and show that a collection purchased in the name of the many should not be presented at the hands of the few.
“You have to be rich to work for a charity now,” an intern told me recently. “I’m passionate about helping others but after six months of unpaid work it’s a luxury I can’t afford any more. So I’m giving up to do something else.”
This intern is one of a growing number of graduates reporting that the third sector is following politics, fashion and media in requiring its young workers to perform months of unpaid work – “internships” – before they will be considered for their first paid role. Those who can’t fund this period (six to 12 months is the norm) say they are being “priced out” of pursuing a career in this sector. […]
Another story showing how internships reproduce systems of privilege and filter out poorer individuals from certain sectors, no matter how educated or passionate they are. And back to our point that hiding unpaid internships under the guise of “voluntary work” doesn’t really change the substance of an unfair system…as the article says:
Nobody can live for free – so it is unfair to expect them to work for free. Even if it is for a good cause.
Some interesting comments re the Work Programme on the Indus Delta site:
so here I am… 3 years unemployed
applied 4 to 6 or more jobs “every single week”, and havent had “a single reply” as of yet.
i’m the first in my area to be sent on this activity. Continue reading