Precariat (from precarious, precarity) : flexible, temporary, mobile.
People who live on a tightrope, in a precarious balance, those on temporary contracts, freelancers, unpaid volunteers who have a second job, those struggling to make ends meet.
Contortionists of flexibility.
Concerned by government propositions that have increased the levels of uncertainty facing young and older people alike, several months ago the Carrot Workers Collective came together with the Precarious Workers Brigade to speak about issues of precarity within the cultural and education sectors.
The concept and experience of precarity is by no means new to this moment. Labour flexibilisation, privitisation of the welfare state and changing border regimes have increasingly tied the experiences of localised everyday lives to volatile global market dynamics. Freedoms gained through the struggles of the 70s: for a greater range of work places and hours, for more creative and fulfilling tasks etc. have been met with an increase in unpaid or poorly paid work, unstable job prospects and the anxieties born of a highly competitive landscape. In this landscape, cultural and education workers, while at the centre of so-called growth sectors such as the ‘knowledge’ and ‘creative’ economies join their fellow workers in conditions of severe exploitation and uncertainty. Current initiatives to decrease benefits, privatise health care, and cut subsidies to child care rapidly intensify this.
On Sunday 20th March, Precarity: A Participatory People’s Tribunal will bring together people, testimonies, evidence and archives to stimulate collective discussions and propositions about the conditions of precarity that face us today. Following independent tribunal formats such as the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, derived from the Russel Tribunals used to expose war crimes committed against the Vietnamese people the end of the Vietnam War, the event will build upon collective process of identification, acknowledging complicit behaviours, posing survival strategies, and enacting alternatives.
The Carrot Workers and The Precarious Workers Brigade invite you to join them and collectively share experiences, bear witness and propose remedies.
1pm Introduction to the day: background of the project, history of the process, why a participatory people’s tribunal.
1.30-3:30pm Testimonies and Evidence: 4 case studies. How can we visualise and speak about precarity?
4.00-5.30pm Culprits and Remedies: Small Juries on each case
5.30-6pm The Verdict: reconvening and plenary
All are welcome.
Facilitated by the Precarious Workers Brigade and The Carrot Workers Collective www.precariousworkersbrigade.tumblr.com