Illustration: “Collaboration” by artist, agitator & intellectual, Favianna Rodrigues © 2012
Dialogues with Solidarity Conscious Knowledge Workers
by datejie cheko green, Asper Fellow in Media & dialogue moderator
As Asper Fellow in Media at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western U, I am producing a series of events to bring people together in dialogue about some of today’s dominant trends in media, but with a twist.
As we discuss the inspiring, beautiful and often urgent meaning of our work and works, we will also delve into the conditions of our labours, and how these differ according to the bodies – and skin – we’re in.
In so doing, we’ll be helping to lift the unwritten taboo on collectively and publicly discussing this huge part of our day-to-day lives. And I’m also inviting all participants – speakers and audience alike – to begin the conversations about work that we’ll all need to take up as we move through the brave new knowledge economy of our times.
The focus on solidarity steps back from the consumptive pressures of digital culture, and the dominant imperatives of competing with colleagues and eliminating them as rivals in the world of knowledge work. Instead, it invites all consumers and producers of information, media, scholarship, technology and culture to think more collectively, and to understand that we are each other’s community, collaborators, security, and even lifelines.
FREE to the public
The events are fully accessible and FREE, with donations encouraged toward the Campaign for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women / #MMIW that continues across Canada and beyond.
The series goal is to engage knowledge workers in cultural, scholarly, media, information, communications, technical and administrative sectors about their work, lives and advocacy.
We will hear about the fruits of their labours and demystify the conditions of their work. We will discuss how the phenomena of insecurity, vulnerability and marginality – increasing hallmarks of the digital age – affect them.
As advances in technology brought greater means of production into the hands of individual knowledge workers, this turn of the century transformation was meant to add to the global promise of social equality through higher education, especially in the English-speaking world.
Yet for too many this has not been the case. The rise in under-employment, self-employment, depressed labour values and vanishing institutional supports are instead the social inheritance for many graduates. Unfortunately, the language to describe and address this still lags behind.
As these trends deepen and expand, how are knowledge workers surviving? How are we making our experiences social? How can we cultivate networks of support, collaborative practices and an ethos of intersectional solidarity against the divisive forces of capitalism, local and global violence, and recurring dispossession?
These “Dialogues” will be a point of entry into these daunting, historically intransigent questions.
For the precarious workers joining us, we will discuss what it’s like to hustle, stay solvent, healthy and safe wherever we work, while still being productive and nurturing our talents and dreams.
For the advocates, we will also probe the barriers and threats to our digitally-dependent work. This will include the implications of digital surveillance and other forms of policing on precarious knowledge workers, our families, colleagues, and our communities.
All are welcome to participate in these events. We hope to will join us however you can!
We gratefully acknowledge the co-sponsors of series events.
- Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University (FIMS)
- FIMS Digital Labour Group
- FIMS Student Council
- CHRW Radio 94.9FM in London, ON
- The Come Up Show 94.9FM
- Western University International Week
For more information: