Critical Citizenship 3: Art. Rights of Labour (W.A.G.E, Intern Labor Rights and Precarious Workers Brigade)

Wednesday 29th April at 6.30pm The Space, Nottingham Contemporary

By looking at arts advocacy groups, this event will discuss knowledge and strategies around campaigning and awareness-raising against exploitation and labour conditions in the cultural sector. Speakers from W.A.G.E. (NY, US), Intern Labor Rights (NY, US) and Precarious Workers Brigade (LONDON, UK) will present recent work and discuss local conditions of their practice. Although the arts and cultural sector in the US differs from that in the UK, there are similarities in these groups’ approach. Questions of aesthetics and modes of artistic and political intervention are secondary: these groups focus on social organization and activist methodologies. By offering modes of address that reshape our understandings of labour, W.A.G.E, Intern Labor Rights and Precarious Workers Brigade unpack and elucidate the conceptual barriers and possibilities of making and presenting art. With this in mind, this talk will continue the discussion with regards to art and its relation to activism.

  • Founded in 2008, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) is a New York-based activist group whose advocacy is currently focused on regulating the payment of artist fees by non-profit art institutions and establishing a sustainable model for best practices between artists and the institutions that contract their labour.
  • Intern Labor Rights aims to raise awareness of the exploitation of unpaid labourers. We have experienced first-hand the detrimental effects of a practice whereby workers contribute to their employers’ success but receive no wages in compensation.
  • Precarious Workers Brigade is a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture and education. We call out in solidarity with all those struggling to make a living in this climate of instability and enforced austerity. Join us to learn, create and struggle together!

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