“Just Do It! Bodies and Images of Women in the New Division of Labor”
“Representation needs to be contextualized from several points. The representation of texts and images does not reflect the world as a mirror, mere translation of its sources, but is rather remodeled, coded in rhetorical terms. (…) Representation may be understood as a visible formal ‘articulation’ of social order “.
Griselda Pollock, Vision and Difference, 1994
WORK> NON WORK: REDEFINITIONS FROM FEMINISM
“What do you do? What is your occupation?” Although every day we all reply quite easily to this apparently simple question, if we stop and carefully think what is our interlocutor demanding, we conclude that, in fact, what he/she really wants to know is the job we have or the activity or activities we make for a living and does not expect us at all to enumerate the wide range of actions, relations and productions that we unfold throughout the day.
Defining work and its limits in abstract terms at the present time, where the times and locations of production became blurred and extended, is not an easy task. However, experiencing its consequences on our bodies seems to be less complicated, especially if we consider a definition of work that goes beyond the economistic view (whether neoclassical or Marxist) and, especially, if we understand our sustainment of a daily life and our daily incorporation of personalities and social actions as spaces and (re)productive efforts. Everything that tires, that occupies, that disciplines and stresses our body, but also everything that constructs it, that takes care of it, that gives it pleasure and maintains it, is work. Read more…
Three Mothers and a Chorus
Factory of Found Clothes, Russia, 2007
The film has the structure of an ancient Greek tragedy. Mothers explain their problems and the chorus which is constructed of the typical social characters is judging her. The film is dedicated to contemporary motherhood.
Precarious Lives, 43 min, 2008.
A film by Joanne Richardson and Andreea Carnu (RO/USA).
An experimental documentary mixing archival footage of female labour over the past century with 10 portraits of Romanian women working in different jobs and in different countries today. The film seeks to challenge the dominant discourse about precarity (and about the precariat as the new proletariat) and the fact that it ignores differences based on gender, limited mobility, and the first and third worlds of Europe.
1. dependence on chance circumstances beyond control, inability to plan one’s life
2. living without material or psychological security, stability and predictability
3. the widespread condition of flexible, intermittent, short-term and part-time work that characterizes post-Fordist capitalism?”(quote from the beginning of the film)
“As a noun, precarity does not exist. It is an adjective, modifying subjects, changing through circumstance. To understand what it means to be precarious, we must invert the theory, taking our own lives as a point of departure. To walk the streets that bring us together, and the routes that sometimes divide us. And while walking, to ask questions” (quote from the ending of the film)
Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy. Tracey Moffatt, AUS 1990, 19 min.
Sarcastically staged in the setting of the social solitariness of the Australian outback, an old invalid and a young female nurse act out this cinematic chamber piece. It is a horror-tragicomedy of domestic hand movements, mute sounds and noisy work about love and dependence. Night Cries tells about a relationship that is affected by the formation of a nation and the forced assimilation of the “Aborigines” that was practised until the 1970s, and can also be read as a pointed critique of colonialist ethnographic film, which traditionally addressed Aboriginal issues through idioms and conventions particular to naturalistic documentary filmmaking. [Marie-Hélène Gutberlet]