Remaking Cultural Relations: Artistic Livelihoods and Collective Alternatives

Book launch + panel discussion
Co-organized by Letters & Handshakes and Cultural Workers Organize in partnership with A Space Gallery

Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge | Kirsten Forkert | datejie cheko green | Chris Lee | Michael Maranda | Bryan D. Palmer

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Space Gallery
401 Richmond St. West, Suite 110
Toronto, ON
Free and open to the public
Join us for a panel conversation about the socio-economic conditions of cultural work as well as past and present collective organizing, campaign, and policy efforts to protect and improve artistic livelihoods. “Remaking Cultural Relations” marks the release of two publications addressing intersections of art, labour, and precarity–Kirsten Forkert’s Artistic Lives: A Study of Creativity in Two European Cities, recently published by Ashgate, and Precarious: Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge, an exhibition catalogue, designed by Chris Lee, accompanying Condé and Beveridge’s current exhibition, Precarious, at the Robert Langen Art Gallery, Wilfrid Laurier University (March 5 – April 12, 2014).



Carole Condé + Karl Beveridge live and work in Toronto. They have collaborated with various trade union and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic and banner work over the past thirty years. Their work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in the trade union movement as well as art galleries and museums. Their work has been included in exhibitions at the Noorderlicht Photofestival, Groningen, the Netherlands (2013), Manif d’art – The Québec City Biennial (2014), and Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2014). Condé and Beveridge received an Honourary Doctorate from OCAD University in 2010, the Cesar Chavez Black Eagle Cultural Award from the United Food and Commercial Workers, Canada in 2011, and the Prix de mérite artistique from the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2013.

Kirsten Forkert, originally from an arts background, is a researcher and activist. She teaches cultural studies in the School of Media at Birmingham City University (BCU) and holds a PhD from Goldsmiths, University of London. She has been involved in a variety of campaigns and organizations, including autonomous social centres, anti-cuts campaigns, trade union activism, and anti-racism; she is currently involved with Birmingham Radical Education and is also branch secretary of the BCU branch of the Universities and Colleges Union. Prior to moving to the UK she was involved in a number of organizations in Canada and the US. Her writing has been published in Third TextCITYMute, and Variant, as well as various edited collections.

datejie cheko green is an experienced organizer, media producer, educator, facilitator, researcher, and strategist. She has twenty-five years combined experience in labour, community non-profit, arts, media, and public sectors. In all her roles, datejie promotes the meaningful participation, analysis, and concerns of equity-seeking groups, and uses a historically grounded, de-colonial, intersectional, and social justice approach. Over her work life, datejie has been a precarious member of ten unions.

Chris Lee is a graphic designer based in Toronto. While pursuing his Master of Design at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2008-2010), he began to focus on reflexive work about graphic design and its political economy. This led him to engage in a study of alternative/complementary currencies, and to consider currency as a thing through which to read/articulate and exercise a political dimension of graphic design. He has facilitated workshops on currency and graphic design in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Glasgow, Portland, and Zagreb. He is an editorial board member of the journal Scapegoat: Landscape, Architecture, Political Economy, serves on the Board of Directors for Art Metropole, and is a member of the programming committee of Gendai Gallery. He is a sessional instructor in the Graphic Design Department at OCADU.

Michael Maranda is an artist and arts administrator who lives and works in Toronto. Currently an assistant curator at the Art Gallery of York University, he was associate publisher for Fuse magazine for six years. In 2008, he conducted the Waging Culture survey, a study of the socio-economic status of visual artists in Canada. He is currently working on the analysis of the next iteration of the study. More information on the study is available here.

Bryan D. Palmer, editor of Labour/Le Travail and one of Canada’s leading social and working-class historians, is the Canada Research Chair in Canadian Studies at Trent University. He has published on precarious labour in the Socialist Register (2014) and his most recent book, Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strikes of 1934, appeared in 2013. In 2014, Brill will issue a two-volume collection of his essays, Marxism and Historical Practice, in the Historical Materialism book series.