Bodies of Work – a symposium

Bodies of Work – a symposium

Held at Waterside Workers Hall 1-3 November, the Bodies of Work Symposium will bring together policy experts, academics, artists, and activists, all with a wealth of organising experience. With talks and discussion, activist training and art, this symposium will explore the issues, celebrate radical histories, and imagine a better future.

Waterside Workers Hall has long been a hub for both cultural events and labour organising in Yartapuulti/Port Adelaide. But are we keeping these traditions alive, and is art still part of the struggle for a better world? What about the precarious working lives of artists themselves? Will the new National Cultural Policy really centre artists as workers?

Speakers will explore the place of art and culture in everyday life and as a force for radical change. Talks will cover cultural policy, the challenges of AI, the Hollywood strikes and the history of artists working with unions here in Australia, including the famous ‘Art and Working Life’ initiative of the 1980s. The Hall will be decorated with an exhibition of magnificent union banners made as part of that program.

The second day of the symposium will have a focus on Basic Income and include two speakers who have worked closely on Ireland’s Basic Income for the Arts pilot, Angela Dorgan, CEO of First Music Contact, and Sharon Barry, Director of Culture Ireland – a unique opportunity to hear about the work that went on behind the scenes.

There will be ample opportunities to participate, including a chance to hear from South Australia’s Arts Minister, the Hon. Andrea Michaels MP, in a special Arts Industry Council of South Australia event, as well as space for collaboration, solidarity, and imagining a better future.

Talks will be accompanied by two darkly funny and smart performance lectures from Catherine Ryan, an artist from Wurundjeri Country/Melbourne who explores the pressure to be productive under capitalism using subversive pop song samples and low-brow musical interludes.

The Bodies of Work symposium promises to be an inspiring, community-building event. It is free (bookings essential) and open to anyone interested in art, activism, history, culture, and democracy.

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