Monday, 21 November 2011

What is Work Worth?

TFG's Bridge dinner on Internships and the value of work has been postponed.  We will keep you updated about the new date.

Toronto Free Gallery Presents
THE BRIDGE DINNER SERIES: WHAT IS WORK WORTH?

A dinner & talk about working for free in the cultural sector
This is the sixth talk in the Toronto Free series: The Bridge

When: Wednesday November 23, 2011
Dinner & Talk: seating at 7 pm

Where: Toronto Free Gallery
1277 Bloor Street West
416-913-0461

$15/person for dinner (vegan) & talk (meaty)

Seats are limited. Please contact amber@torontofreegallery.org to reserve your spot.    

“I’d guess that – apart from domestic and care work art is the industry with the most unpaid labour around. It sustains itself on the time and energy of unpaid interns and self-exploiting actors on pretty much every level and in almost every function. Free labour and rampant exploitation are the invisible dark matter that keeps the cultural sector going.”

– Hito Steyerl, Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to Post-Democracy

The “What is Work Worth?” Bridge is the first of three talks to begin a dialogue about the value of work. Given the increasing normalization of unpaid labour in the cultural sector a questioning of why and how we work for free is necessary. It is time to tease out what role internships play in contributing to an ongoing and inescapable precarious work environment.

How can we escape a system that encourages unpaid internships in order to “pay dues?”

Do unpaid internships privilege a particular work force able to afford to spend months working for free?

Do unpaid internships encourage paid workers to settle for working long hours for poor pay because of fear that there are hundreds of interns willing to do their jobs for free?

Does the discrepancy between pressures for programming and lack of funding encourage a system where organizations are forced to rely on the work of volunteers?

Are educational institutions not adequately training workers for the realities of the workforce?

"The Bridge" is Toronto Free Gallery's new monthly speakers' series that uses the format of a sit-down dinner as a site of engagement and conversation about gaps in racial, social, and economic inequality, and equal representation. We're interested in activating lively, productive conversation in an informal setting that will help to bridge the divide.

Co-Curated by Heather Haynes & Amber Landgraff

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