Online Workshop

• Tue 10 – Thu 12 11 2020 / 5 – 7 pm •
Art Workers Commons

Due to the current regulations of the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia for the containment of the Coronoavirus (COVID-19), the workshop takes place online.


In a multi-day workshop running from 10 11 2020 – 12 11 2020, Arts of the Working Class (Alina Kolar, María Inés Plaza Lazo, Pauł Sochacki) explores the arts sector as a working environment. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the pitfalls and risks of this particularly precarious field have become even more stark.
The dictates of the so-called art world have given rise to the most ludicrous, luxurious and ruthless working conditions. Workshop participants will explore how competition and individual success can be replaced as guiding principles of art and discourse production by solidarity and forms of togetherness. The goal is to discuss and promote the founding and development of a ‘union des refusés’.

This desire for a trade union for art workers can be traced back to earlier ideas about collectivity and a public dimension in the arts, in line with a Marxist conception of society. When the salons des refusés in France and the art associations in Germany emerged in the 19th century, they paved the way for the interest groups of in-ternational modernity in the 20th century. Arts of the Working Class draws on these experiences of community to set up a trade union for the provision of mutual help and support, developed in collaboration with international artists and thinkers, experts and amateurs. Art workers all over the world are invited to share their privileges and concerns within a not-for-profit organization for emotional, political and financial exchange, which aims to leave capitalist pressures and patterns behind.

It was planned to present the results of the workshop in Cologne and to publish the thirteenth issue of the global street newspaper Arts of the Working Class at a launch at Ebertplatzpassage. This event has to be postponed due to the current situation.

Venue: Academyspace, Herwarthstr. 3, 50672 Köln
German | English
Free Admission
Please sign up at produktion(@)
Input material and zoom link will follow by e-mail after registration.

Day 1

Tue, 10 11 2020 / 17:00–19:00 CET
In the first session we want to define categories so that together we can negotiate this ‘union des refuses’. We will define what tools we need as art workers and as a society to create solidarity and spaces for working and living that are breeding grounds for art and community.

Day 2

Wed, 11 11 2020 / 17:00–19:00 CET
The concepts of ‘care’ and ‘accountability’ must be rethought. On day 2 politically necessary changes for solidarity in the art world will be formulated. Where do we begin in order to take care of others and ourselves?

Day 3

Thu, 12 11 2020 / 17:00–19:00 CET
Democracy means, at least within the creative society of the Art Workers Internationale, to take on the question of class. On this day we focus on the bureaucratic procedures and economic alternatives for a social and just working environment for art.

We will read, listen to and discuss texts and online lectures from Aaron Bastani, Angela Davis, David Graeber, Audre Lorde, Ingo Niermann, Legacy Russell, Astra Taylor, Cassie Thornton, among others. A detailed bibliography will follow via email when you sign up.