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Archive for October, 2013

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“Slaves of the Internet, Unite,” an opinion piece in the New York Times over the weekend by Tim Kreider, author of  “We Learn Nothing,” was a much-needed article in a popular media outlet about what we have been discussing for some time:  Writers, please don’t write for free.

Kreider’s was just the latest in the public call for writers (and other creative workers) not to give away their work. We have seen for a very long time folks writing about and organizing around this issue. For example, writer and activist Yasmin Nair wrote in 2010 a piece, quoting one of the werking gerls, Make Art! Change the World! Starve!: The Fallacy of Art as Social Justice – Part I putting unpaid art/creative work in the context of the arts/nonprofit community exploiting those in their midst.

The werking gerls  were contacted a few years ago by a young writer who had begun a website to protest unpaid internships here in New York City. He waged a one-man campaign on Craigslist to flag, reply to, and report internships that violated state and federal labor laws. This website no longer exist and we don’t know what happened to the founder. But we do know his work has been carried on by others, including the werking gerls.

Just yesterday we discovered the brilliant M.A.R.F.A., a citizen action group dedicated to stopping Marina Abramovic from creating further artworks. This spot-on analysis and response to Abramovic’s use of artists as sweatshop laborers is the type of calling out of exploiters we need. Not that any of us need any more work, and free work we might add, to call out those slave-driving, sweatshop propagating overseers who call themselves our friends and colleagues (and those who don’t).

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Excellent article to read from CHALLENGED SPECIES.

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