ART AND CULTURAL WORKERS CONGRESS Zagreb
Our speaker Zoë Claire Miller will represent the bbk berlin at the congress in Zagreb:
The proverbial prestige of artists and cultural workers skilfully conceals the nature of work in this field, dominated by unrecognized and unpaid work. Where, until recently, there were stable jobs, atypical forms of work prevail today, and with them a growing reserve army of cheap labor. A neoliberal invention, 'project culture' - quite contrary to the discourse in which it proclaims 'democratization' and 'decentralization' - has profoundly transformed the role of art and culture in society. The field, which was for decades partly ‘exempted’ from capitalist relations of production, is now completely subsumed in them. After a short period of the socialist cultural policies and welfare state, artists and cultural workers are now exposed to insecurity, the risk of poverty and growing exploitation. Therefore, today they urgently require mechanisms of self-regulation that will collectively enable a fairer distribution in the field, both for them, the institutions and the public.
The Art and Cultural Workers Congress brings together several international organizations, from initiatives and professional associations to trade unions active in the fight for better working conditions in the cultural field. The two working sessions are divided thematically. On the first day, we will be discussing models and options for the introduction of a fair wage. The second day will be dedicated to the issues of self-organization, the possibilities and constraints of organizational forms, as well as the opportunities and obstacles to the mass unification of precarious workers. The Congress will end with a collective discussion, and we hope it will be continued by a mutual empowerment in a common struggle.