Below are the Centre for Decent Work/International Labour and Logistics Research Network events for this term.
Logistics Labour Between Ports and Platforms: Three Projects
September 27, 9:00 am PST/ 5:00 pm GMT on Zoom – Click here to sign up
Visual artist and researcher Benjamin Gerdes will discuss three projects and invite a conversation about the potential roles of artistic interventions, media, and visual strategies in struggles over labour rights in the logistics sector. He began collaborating on an ongoing series of video projects with the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union in 2018. Before this session, you are invited to watch the two videos completed in 2021 and look at the related public art project recently installed in Gothenburg through the links below (drawing on the work of some ILLRN members!) He will discuss the process of these videos and how efforts to align cross-sector logistics organizing with questions around public engagement with data/IT infrastructure and governance led him to develop the current 3-year research project ”Ghost Platform: Generating the “Complex Image” of Data, Labour, and Logistics.” This project will be presented with an eye toward feedback, reflection, and potential participation from ILLRN members.
Benjamin Gerdes is an artist, writer, and organizer working in video and related public formats. He is presently Senior Lecturer in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Moving Image at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. His projects emerge via long-term research processes in dialogue with activists, trade unionists, architects, and geographers, among others. Exhibitions and screenings include: The Centre Pompidou (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), New Museum (New York), Rotterdam International Film Festival, Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Venice Architecture Biennale, and the Tate Modern (London). Recent writings have appeared in the books “Data Publics: Public Plurality in an Era of Data Determinacy” and “Platform Urbanism and Its Discontents.”
Leapfrog Logistics: Digital Platforms, Infrastructure, and Labour in Brazil and China
October 25, 9:00 am PST/ 5:00 pm GMT on Zoom – Click here to sign up
This study examines digital trucking platforms in two major economies of the Global South: Brazil and China. We argue that trucking platforms are engendering dramatic transformations of disorganised road transport logistics systems in both these continental-scale economies, centralising investment and co-ordinating control to enable leapfrog development. In the process, they are unifying previously fragmented space economies by rationalizing transport systems and proletarianizing their workforces, driving down costs and eliminating barriers to the geographical circulation of capital. While this offers some benefits to workers, it also exposes them to the vagaries of market discipline in new ways.
Jörg Nowak is a Visiting Professor at University of Brasilia, Brazil.
Steve Rolf is ESRC Research Fellow at the Digital Futures at Work (Digit) Centre, University of Sussex Business School.
Wei Wei is a Research Fellow at the Technology and Management Centre for Development, University of Oxford.