Petra Bauer & SCOT-PEP, 'Workers!', film still, 2018.
Between 2 – 5 June Collective will host REPRODUCTION, a summer school exploring ‘social reproduction’. This term gained traction in feminist thinking during the 1970s, particularly in the International Wages for Housework Campaign. Challenging the gendered distribution of reproductive work, this movement centred the cooking, cleaning and caring activities that replenish the labour force, yet remain largely unseen, unacknowledged and unpaid. In recent years, social reproduction theory has offered a more expansive account that goes beyond domestic work to also incorporate the provision of necessities such as food, housing and healthcare right through to the production of social values through art, culture and education.
Launching on International Sex-Workers Day, the summer school offers the space for practical experiments and questions departing from this analysis of everyday life under capitalism. The starting point for this exploration is the new film Workers! by artist Petra Bauer and sex-worker led organisation SCOT-PEP, currently showing in Collective’s City Dome. The four-day programme of talks, readings, screenings and workshops will expand on themes central to this co-authored film: debates on work and (social) reproduction, the role of artistic practice and film in political struggles, and the complex politics of working with or representing others.
Initial questions for the school are: What role can film and artistic practice play in political processes? How can we reinterpret 'the personal is political' in light of social reproduction and our contemporary conditions? And how does this mantra connect with ‘nothing about us without us’ frequently used in the sex-worker rights movement? How does art and cultural practice sustain, question or obstruct the reproduction of society as we know it? What tools can be taken form social reproduction theory?
Contributors include: artist and filmmaker Petra Bauer, artist and researcher James Bell, sociologist Karen Gregory, art historian Victoria Horne, curator and art historian Kirsten Lloyd, artist Shona MacNaughton, poet and trans/queer activist Nat Raha, art historian Catherine Spencer, writer and activist Molly Smith, and SCOT-PEP. The programme will launch with a public screening of Carole Roussopoulous and collective Vidéo Out’s film ‘Les Prostituées De Lyon Parlent’ in Filmhouse Cinema.
The Summer School has been developed in collaboration with the Social Reproduction: In Art, Life and Struggle reading group, formed in 2014 by a group of artists, academics, curators, students and others in Edinburgh and builds on Collective’s ongoing work on care. Silvia Federici’s lecture in 2018 was a primer for REPRODUCTION.
Collective’s annual ‘school’ builds a temporary space for critical dialogue, practical experiments and the fostering of open networks. Small groups work together to explore and test particular topics selected for their pressing relevance to the global contemporary art field. The closed sessions are paired with public events, films screenings and symposia. Previous topics explored include: collaboration, research methods in artistic practice and beyond, the role of notation and score in visual art, locality, and art-ethnography
Places on the school are limited to 12 tickets for the week are £50+VAT for individual practitioners or £100+VAT if an organisation is paying for an employee to attend (this includes tickets to the film screening). Please book via Eventbrite.
Collective aims to make this event as accessible as possible. A small bursary fund is available to support childcare and caring costs for those attending. If the ticket price is a barrier to attending or if you have any other questions about access, please contact us via email for details.