The Passion Industries: The role of higher education in addressing the theory and practice of labour practices in the arts and media sectors
This one-day workshop investigates the conditions in which cultural workers pursue their passions by bringing the theoretical, historical and practical aspects of 'creative work' together.
The arts and media sectors thrive on devotion born of their workers'
passions for art and culture. This one-day workshop investigates the
conditions in which cultural workers pursue their passions by bringing
the theoretical, historical and practical aspects of 'creative work'
Creative work holds out the promise of practicing alternative and
autonomous ways of living and working. Yet, for a large number of
people working in the arts and media sectors, the reality is one of
freelance, unpredictable, and very often voluntary work. With this in
view, the workshop seeks to address a set of specific concerns: the
relationships between scholarly treatments of 'creativity', 'labour' and
'precarious labour', and material experiences of work; conditions in the
contemporary arts and media sectors in the UK; and the ways in which
higher education is implicated in the reproduction of the arts and media
sectors in this form.
The focus of the workshop will be on sharing information, strategies and tactics regarding the past, present and future of work in the arts and media sectors. The proceedings will draw from research and practice regarding the normalisation of internships, bullying in the arts and the role of unions in supporting fragmented, freelance workforces.
There will be contributions from researchers about their current work in these areas. Attendees will feed into the discussion during practical
workshops based on their own experiences. Through this event we hope to draw out a series of alternative scenarios that we can build on
collectively as students, cultural workers and teachers.
Contributors include Broderick Chow (Brunel University), Kim Allen
(London Metropolitan University), Elyssa Livergant (PhD student, Queen
Mary, University of London), Joanna Figiel (PhD student, City
University) and Anne-Marie Quigg (author of Bullying in the Arts).
This event is organised by Sophie Hope (Department of Media and Cultural Studies) and Louise Owen (Department of English and Humanities), Birkbeck College with support from the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre.
This event is free, but please register in advance here: