Curated by Benison Kilby, Presented in Partnership with Composite on Bus TV Bodies of WorkDates: Saturday 5, 12, 19, 26 September, 7pm
Bodies of Work is an online film and lecture program that aims to reflect upon the interrelation of the Covid-19 pandemic and gendered labour. It builds upon an exhibition of the same name held at Bus Projects in 2019, which brought together a group of artists and collectives using a range of approaches to draw attention to women’s work both inside and outside the home. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the importance of a number of forms of work that are both gendered and racialised, such as cleaning, care work, health care and child care. At the same time it has increased the risks of performing these roles. Furthermore, the response of many governments to the pandemic offers a clear illustration of an idea that is central to the Marxist feminist debates around gendered labour that inform this program: that under capitalism the maintenance of life is subordinated to, and enables, profit making.
Over the past six months women have taken on even more work in the home. This has further exacerbated the effects of the double burden of paid and domestic work. Under the current phase of neoliberal capitalism, the fact that the responsibility of domestic work and child rearing still largely falls to women has a direct effect on their paid employment, predisposing women to an increased likelihood of being in casual, part-time and low-paid work. At the same time, forms of work traditionally deemed women’s work, and those occupations geared towards women in the caring and service industries, are also devalued. It is therefore the aim of this ongoing project to develop consciousness around the issue of the gendered division of labour and its social construction, with the awareness that it has particular urgency today due to the pressures that the Covid-19 pandemic combined with the effects of dismantling of the welfare state are placing on women unequally across the globe.
Bodies of Work takes place over four Saturday evenings in September. Each film will be available for a one week period. Click through for more information about each film.
5 September - 11 September
Scuola Senza Fine, 1983
12 September - 18 September
Sweet Sugar Rage, 1985
Sistren Theatre Collective
19 September - 25 September
All Work and No Pay, 1976
The Power of Women Collective and the Wages for Housework Campaign
26 September – 2 October
Women of the Rhondda, 1973
Mary Capps, Mary Kelly, Margaret Dickinson, Brigid Segrave, Esther Ronay, Susan Shapiro and Humphrey Tevelyan