(rec)

radical education collective

Workers’ Inquiry

Today we often hear that teachers, researchers, students, curators, artists and other “cultural” workers are not workers per se (which refers instead to the working class, which can only be constituted as such inthe course or context of struggle). This is actually not the case because we form a privileged “creative class”, but because of the impossibility of composing transversal linkages and forms of solidarity necessary to be recomposed as a collective subject of radical change instead of being self-victimized objects in search of state or corporate funding. Whereas the creative class has become a “coordinating class” in charge of “coordinating the projects” promoted under the banner of liberal freedom where all are free to apply but only a few can succeed, cognitive nomads seem to lack tools for coordinating counter-behaviours necessary to rekindle the struggles.

Radical Education Collective has therefore initiated a research process that includes individual and collective “translations” of the Workers’ Inquiry, which aim is not only to provide answers but to formulate relevant questions and possible alliances.

UPCOMING: 26-27 June 2011, Belgrade, Serbia

Organized by Cultural Centre Rex, Radical Education Collective and Workers’ Inquiry Group

Debate on cultural workers condition in Spain and Serbia

Two groups of cultural workers from Spain and from Serbia will meet in Belgrade and discuss their experience.

Alfredo Aracil, Carolina Bustamante, Ines Moreno and Yunuen Sariego are PhD students at the Study programe (Centro de Estudios) of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. They also form a Workers’ Inquiry Group. Together with Radical Education Collective (Ljubljana, Slovenia) they have initiated an investigation which deals with modes and different levels of exploitation in a cultural institution as well as the ways in which to employ this newly produced knowledge to work toward social transformation. They have started the process with the question: how to invent new political praxis and how to think it within the institution?

The reason for the research lies not only in the new modulations and regulations of work in the field of culture, i.e. the unequal proportions between paid and unpaid work, work and free time, and the increasing fragmentation of the work experience, but also the self-precarization, which is happening on all levels of life, and the lack of class consciousness and solidarity among those working in the field of culture / the new proletariat.

Aleksandra Sekulic, Jelena Miletic, Vladan Jeremic and Vida Knezevic/Marko Miletic are cultural workers and artists from Belgrade and Bor (Serbia) that recently were employees or sub-contractors in various state supported cultural institutions – museums and cultural centers. They all underwent a sort of demanding and sometimes harsh process of initiating and implementing their ideas in their everyday work and related institutional production, which was constantly accompanied by various types of passive resistance, ignorance or even a sort of harassment by the institutions’ leaderships. Tending to be on the forefront of modernization of programs and productions, they ended up isolated, obstructed, finally laid off or forced in another way to leave their posts and jobs. A number of similar cases showed not only that there is an obvious trend of political oppression in the cultural sphere but also that there was no any organization, association, syndicate that could support the actors collegially or professionally.