An experiment in autoethnography - we have given a disposable camera to a Deliveroo worker to see how they document their own working life. We'll share the results, good or bad, once we get the camera back.
The latest worker is Emily Macaulay, Designer, and maker of mainly paper things. The zine will be available soon.
"I hate mornings, so when my alarm goes off I often just want five more minutes in bed. But after that I am a creature of habit, I work between 9-6, Monday to Friday. Most of the time I look forward to work, I run my own business so I should be enjoying it, if not I severely need to re-think things. My studio is in my house, so once I'm up I don't have to go far. I'm pretty disciplined. I've prided myself on that for years, but it's only been recently that I see it as a hang up from working in a shop for so many years. I run my own business so I shouldn't be so restricted. If it's sunny out I should be able to switch stuff around to be able to enjoy that, there is nothing stopping me. That is something to work on."
"Il lavoro nobilita l'uomo, ma lo rende simile alla bestia"
(Work makes people noble, but likens them to beasts).
"Our society is currently gripped by a pervasive ideology of work. It is continuously preached to us as the pinnacle of human virtue. If you’re not doing superhuman stints at the office then something is wrong with you. And don’t even mention the word unemployed … that’s blasphemy."
Read the full article
If you use the trains in the South East of England, you are probably already aware of the issues with the service over the past year or so. Today see's both the drivers and guards striking, which means Southern Rail won't be operating any services.
I went up to Brighton Station to interview some people about how this situation is affecting their work and home lives. I'm looking for a few more people to talk to, so if you fancy being interviewed over the next two days, please get in touch. I'm interested in hearing stories about the human impact this is having on people's lives, and these stories will be used in a special edition of my radio show.
Join Beyond Work founder Curtis James in conversation with workers, talking about working life. In show 3, Hannah
This months worker is John Prior, Actor and Santa Claus.
"My earliest memory of Santa Claus, I suppose is the same as every other child, you just get told it by your mother. I certainly wasn't taken to see Santa Claus because I was a baby in World War Two, visiting Santa wasn't something that you did, you know. I'm retired from my main business, I've been an actor in my time, I've been an Arts Council bureaucrat in my time and I could go on for a long time talking about what I'd been. But I'm a retired old man now and I do this at Christmas time." John Prior
I try to record sounds when I'm out photographing. Here's some sounds from my time at the rubbish depot in Halifax.
This is Gavin, photographed 30 years ago when he first became a binman in Halifax.
And this is him 28 years later, in 2014, when I photographed him on a snowy day over the Christmas holidays.
Check out his full photo essay here.
I've been out on the road sharing stories from workers and also a bit of background behind the project. This talk was filmed at All About People, an event that took place in Bournemouth in June 2016.
If you'd like to see me do this talk at your company or event head here.
I'm currently looking for all sorts of people to document. If you know of someone that does the following please get in touch.
Tube driver, Taxi driver, State school teacher, Someone that works in utilities (Gas, Electricity, Nuclear, Water), Supermarket worker, Removals, Train engineer, Stuntman, Farm worker, Shepherd, Private school teacher, Chimney sweep, Delivery driver, Newspaper boy/girl, Waiter, Theatre technician, Plastics factory worker, Alarm engineer, Roadie, Public speaker, VR designer, Researcher, Photographer, Samaritan volunteer, Radio producer, Radio presenter, Musician, Greeting card maker.
I'm also looking for people to document about work in Whitehawk in Brighton. That could be someone in work, looking for work or doing unpaid work.
I pick workers based on a few different criteria. I'm interested in people that haven't taken traditional pathways into what they do. I'm more interested in the person behind the job, why they do it and how they ended up there, rather than the company, the job title and how it's done. If you are a company interested in documenting working life, I have a business that focuses on that.
I'd expect to spend around 1 hour interviewing you, asking you to talk about your current work and how you arrived at this place in time. I'd then need to spend time at your place of work and some time at your home photographing you and your surroundings. This is a loose plan, and will be slightly different for each person.
If you are worried about your company allowing access for me to photograph you, I will help you with this. I place a great emphasis on respecting each participant, and you will be involved in the final sign off process before any images or interview are shared publicly.
The photographs will be used on this website, instagram and in zines featuring each person. They will form part of a longer term project and may be used in prints, books or exhibitions in the future. If you take part, you will receive a copy of the zine and a print of one of the photographs I've taken during our time together.
If you'd like to find out about taking part, please email me.
"My name's Stephanie Fletcher. I look after Erin (my 3 year old daughter) most days apart from one day when she's at nursery from eight till six. That involves a lot of cleaning, tidying, feeding and running around, entertaining her. On the day when she's at nursery I try and do everything else that doesn't fit into toddler time, so dentist appointments and stuff like that, which is just harder with her.⠀
I also have a small sewing business. I only take on what work I think I'll be able to achieve because if there's ever any issue, somebody is ill or anything, I can't get it done because I only have the one day. I can't work in the evenings because my sewing machine is noisy and it's right next to Erin’s room. I'm very limited so I'll only take on a small amount."
I'm looking for people to take part in my new Beyond Work radio interview series. Do you fancy meeting me for coffee (I'm buying), and in the time it takes us to drink it, chatting around a question of your choosing about work life?
You do not need to be an expert in anything. I'm looking for people with all sorts of jobs, from all sorts of backgrounds.
The whole process would take no longer than 45 minutes.
Please email me if you'd like to take part.