The Labor Center at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is sponsoring a multi-faceted project that employs the power of worker stories, told through film and video, to inspire reflection and spur creative action. In addition to employing existing films, workers will create digital storytelling pieces depicting the stories of local workers’ own critical moments of transformation and action. The Center has also put out a call for film and video submissions that have recorded worker actions and activities, particularly in the Pioneer Valley.
On November 9-10, 2019, workers and activists who work with, or are interested in working with, workers will gather at the University to view the digital stories and selected submissions, along with new and classic labor films, at an interactive event designed to use these films as a basis for discussing critical issues and actions in labor’s past, present and future. Event workshops will begin with films that raise important questions and reflect a variety of historical and present-day contexts, campaigns, and worker experiences, and they will be followed by small group discussion led by skilled facilitators with knowledge and experience in relevant areas. The films shown will reflect the diversity of the labor movement and working people and will raise issues of the many ways in which worker voices can be effectively heard, particularly through the power of the film and video medium.
The Labor Center is committed to engaging workers in all aspects of this project. Participants in the digital storytelling will be paid a living wage for their time. For the November event, transportation and child care will be provided for those who need these services, and registration costs will be underwritten through support from our partner organizations. Event organizers will also reach out to involve students, social justice activists, and others who already are working with workers or want to, and are interested in engaging with workers on critical labor issues.
Please stay tuned here for additional details. If you would like to receive updates, please contact Clare Hammonds (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.