Are Art Workers Organising?

22 June 2019


Venue: Conway Hall Library, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL

Organiser: Joe Hayns, Roberto Mozzachiodi & Jaz Blackwell-Pal

This event follows "Can Art Workers Organise?" discussion, held at MayDay Rooms in early April ( Our reading list is available here:

“Vis-à-vis the public, the actor is here as an artist, but vis-à-vis the entrepreneur, they are here as a productive worker” This meeting brings together activists from across the arts industries (theatre, design, arts, games) to discuss conditions, protest, and labour organising. Conditions: How does the promise of autonomy, prestige, and money relate with everyday exploitation (and sexism, racism, and bullying) in the art industries? Protest: Does the industry aestheticize protest against those conditions? Can we criticise critical institutions? Labour organising: Union density is 15.5% in ‘Art’ (against 50% for ‘Education’, and 40% for ‘Health’) – why are we so disorganised? Does the arts need ‘new trade unionism’? Each session will open with a 15 minute talk, followed by 45 minutes’ of chaired discussion. — Timetable: 10.30 - Introductions 10.45-11.45 - The Work of Art, with Evening Class (Design Collective) 11.45-12.45 - Protest! Or, How to Sell a Show, with Justice For Workers - Goldsmiths 12.45-13.15 - Lunch 13.15-14.15 - ‘New Trade Unions’ and the Arts, with Game Workers Unite 14.15-14.30 - Closing remarks