Letter adapted from the Precarious Workers Brigade ‘Template for a letter to art institutions that advertise unpaid internships’

15 Jan 2014, Posted in Current, Projects, 0 Comments

http://precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com/Toolbox

* Note: In the December 2013 print edition of FUSE 37-1, an editorial error resulted in the omission of the citation of Precarious Workers Brigade from this title. FUSE apologizes for this error.

____________________________

Hello,

We notice that you have recently advertised an unpaid internship. We understand the pressures that publicly funded non-profit arts organizations such as yours are under. We salute you for taking the time and effort to mentor and train people wanting to work in the arts sector.

However, we are concerned that by not paying people, only those who can afford to work for free will be able to benefit from your internship scheme. As internships are becoming more prevalent than entry-level jobs, those who are unable to take up these unpaid opportunities are less likely to enter the sector. These positions negatively impact the value of all labour in the arts, and make it harder to fight for adequate working conditions in the cultural sector.

This is far from an equitable labour practice. Demonstrating such unfair employment practices also seems to contradict your gallery/centre/organization’s role in the arts milieu. Artist-run centres in Quebec/Canada have a long-standing history of fighting for artists’ rights, including the payment of artist fees and advocacy around the value of cultural work. It is only logical that the recognition of artistic labour and support for fair working conditions should apply to all cultural workers, including the staff of arts organizations.

In Quebec/Canada we have been avoiding important conversations around artistic labour and precarity. Perhaps the situation feels less urgent in light of our particular funding structures, or we are censoring ourselves because the community is small and we are worried about upsetting people or endangering our own jobs and future opportunities. Nonetheless, we encourage you to think about how an organization like yours might act as a model for equitable labour practices, rather than contributing to economic conditions that encourage exploitation.

We wanted to flag this and ask you to consider the ethics of offering unpaid internships in your organization. There is a lot of information out there that might help you develop a new and more equitable approach to working with interns. FUSE Magazine has a number of links on their website (fusemagazine.org/2013/12/interns) with information and guidelines on this topic, and we encourage you to consult those.

We thank you for your attention to this matter, and hope that we can count on your collaboration.

Sincerely,
____________________________

« Modèle de lettre à l’intention des institutions artistiques qui affichent des stages non rémunérés » Lettre adaptée de la Precarious Workers Brigade 

(http://precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com/Toolbox)

Bonjour,

Nous avons remarqué que vous avez récemment affiché un stage non rémunéré. Nous sommes conscient-e-s des pressions que ressentent les organismes artistiques sans but lucratif soutenus par un financement public comme le vôtre. Nous saluons vos efforts et le temps que vous dédiez à former les personnes intéressées à intégrer le secteur artistique.

Cependant, nous sommes préoccupé-e-s du fait que, en n’offrant pas de rémunération, seules les personnes qui peuvent se le permettre pourront bénéficier de votre système de stages. Alors que le nombre de stages a dépassé celui des emplois de premier échelon, ceux et celles qui sont incapables de postuler pour ces opportunités bénévoles seront moins nombreux à pénétrer le secteur. Ces postes ont un effet pervers sur la valeur de l’ensemble du travail effectué dans le milieu des arts et rendent la lutte pour de meilleures conditions de travail dans le secteur culturel plus difficile.

Ceci ne constitue pas une pratique de travail équitable. Recourir à ces pratiques injustes semble également contredire le rôle de votre galerie/centre/organisation dans le milieu des arts. Les centres d’artistes autogérés au Québec/Canada ont une longue histoire de lutte pour les droits des artistes, incluant le paiement de cachets d’artistes et la défense de la valeur du travail culturel. Logiquement, la reconnaissance du travail artistique et le soutien pour des conditions de travail équitables devraient s’appliquer à l’ensemble des travailleur-euse-s culturelles, incluant le personnel des organismes artistiques.

Au Québec/Canada, nous avons ignoré ces discussions importantes autour du travail artistique et de la précarité. Il se peut que nos structures de financement nous aient amenés à sous-estimer l’urgence de la situation. Peut-être nous censurons-nous en raison de la petite taille de notre communauté, par crainte de déranger ou de mettre en péril notre carrière. Ceci étant dit, nous vous invitons à réfléchir aux manières dont une organisation comme la vôtre pourrait devenir un modèle de pratiques de travail équitables, au lieu de contribuer à perpétuer des conditions économiques qui encouragent l’exploitation.

Nous espérons que vous saurez prêter attention à cette situation, et vous demandons d’examiner l’aspect éthique du fait d’offrir des stages non rémunérés au sein de votre organisation. De nombreuses sources d’informations s’offrent à vous afin de vous aider à développer une nouvelle approche plus équitable auprès de vos stagiaires. Le magazine FUSE offre sur son site (fusemagazine.org/2013/12/interns) plusieurs liens à ce sujet, que nous vous invitons à consulter.

En vous remerciant de votre attention et en espérant pouvoir compter sur votre collaboration,

cordialement,
_______________________________

Resources:

Art Council England’s guidelines Internships in the Arts: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/publication_archive/internships-arts

The Carrotworkers’ Collective’s Counter Guide to Free Labour in the Arts
: http://carrotworkers.wordpress.com/counter-internship-guide/

Intern Aware: http://www.internaware.org/about/why-unpaid-internships-are-wrong/

Artquest’s Intern

Culture report: http://www.artquest.org.uk/articles/view/intern_culture

CARFAC’s Best Practices for Canadian Visual Art: http://www.carfac.ca/2013/01/developpons-de-bonnes-pratiques-dans-le-domaine-des-arts-visuels-au-canada/lang-pref/en/

Génération Précaire: http://www.generation-precaire.org

le Regroupement des associations d’artistes en arts visuels du Québec: RAAV http://www.raav.org/

Art Leaks: http://art-leaks.org

Interns Anonymous: http://internsanonymous.co.uk

The Committee for Radical Diplomacy: http://radicaldiplomacy.blogspot.ca

Rights for Interns: http://www.rightsforinterns.org.uk

Unfair Internships: http://unfairinternships.wordpress.com

Art Work: http://www.artandwork.us

Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.): http://www.wageforwork.com

Precarious Workers Brigade: http://precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com

-

Nicole Burisch is a Canadian curator, artist, critic and cultural worker. Her research (with Anthea Black) into curatorial strategies for politically engaged craft practices is included in The Craft Reader (Berg) and Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art (Duke University Press). Burisch worked as the director of Calgary’s Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival from 2007 to 2009, and is currently based in Montreal, where she works as administrative coordinator at Centre Skol. She occasionally makes collaborative performance work as one-third of the Ladies’ Invitational Deadbeat Society and one-fourth of The Brick Factory.

PWB is a UK-based group of precarious workers in culture & education organised around issues of precarity. Our praxis springs from a shared commitment to developing research and actions that are practical, relevant and easily shared and applied. If putting an end to precarity is the social justice we seek, our political project involves developing tactics, strategies, formats, practices, dispositions, knowledge and tools for making this happen. Find us at www.precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com

Thanks to Anne Bertrand and Stéphanie Chabot for their encouragement and support.

Translation to the French by Sophie Le-Phat Ho; French copyediting by Edith Brunette

Continue Reading...

Actual Size

25 Apr 2013, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

Architectural and engineering plans articulate the form and function of intended constructions — the flow of substances, entry and exit points, joints, connections and foundations — and reveal the dispersion of power that sustains these structures. —Kandis Friesen

Continue Reading...

A Game of Shater Hassan

24 Apr 2013, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

A Game of Shater Hassan is a nonlinear, semi-autobiographical project that explores notions of memory, oral history and the diaspora. The project is described as a retelling the story of Shater Hassan when in fact it actively denies you most of the story itself, and takes you somewhere else instead. — Haitham Ennasr

Continue Reading...

9 Scripts for a Nation at War – A Podcast by Reena Katz

20 Feb 2013, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

9 Scripts for a Nation at War – A Podcast by Reena Katz

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 9 Scripts is a 10-channel video installation structured around the question: “How does war construct specific positions for individuals to fill, enact, speak from or resist?” This podcast is a dialogue-based conceptual description mashed up with audio fragments from the work itself.

Continue Reading...

The Arc by Kathleen Ritter — An artist’s project by Jem Noble

14 Aug 2012, Posted in Projects, Web Exclusive, 0 Comments

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The Arc by Kathleen Ritter, Live on Q with Jian Ghomeshi: A Performance Reconstruction in Graphic Novella Form, by Jem Noble. When fire tore through the building on the corner of Broadway and Kingsway in Vancouver early Christmas morning in 2009, a vital community of artist studios was decimated. Artist and curator Kathleen Ritter’s studio was among those destroyed…

Continue Reading...

Complicity, Objection, Castration, Recomposition

12 Jul 2012, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

Complicity, Objection, Castration, Recomposition

Some Feminists in Your Neighborhood is a group of women joined together through the mutual experience of patriarchy in supposedly radical political collectives and contexts. Our contribution to FUSE documents phases of the political process as they have appeared to us.

Continue Reading...

From the Moon to the Belly

16 Mar 2012, Posted in Projects, 1 Comments

From the Moon to the Belly

From the Moon to the Belly is a seven-card limited edition digital collage postcard project and socio-cultural exchange between Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Maria Hupfield.

Continue Reading...

Memorandum

28 Jul 2011, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

Memorandum

Excerpted from Memorandum, an artist’s project by Greg Staats (2001) reprinted in “Performing Politics”: “It has been brought to our attention that the number of dogs on Indian Reserves has been increasing at a rate far beyond the capacity of this Department or the Indians to administer them.”

Continue Reading...

Artist Projects from Spring 2011

05 Apr 2011, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

Artist Projects from Spring 2011

Never Been to Tehran, was a worldwide exhibition of photography reflecting what 29 international artists imagined Iran’s capital city to look like.

Continue Reading...

Artist Projects from Winter 2011

28 Feb 2011, Posted in Projects, 0 Comments

Artist Projects from Winter 2011

Barbara Meneley is a Canadian visual artist whose interdisciplinary site-responsive work takes shape in reference to landscapes of contemporary society and culture. She has exhibited across Canada and the US and happily lives and works in Saskatchewan.

Continue Reading...
http://fusemagazine.org/wp-content/themes/press

Page optimized by WP Minify WordPress Plugin