LaborTech kicked off with images of Asian resistance

SAN FRANCISCO, USA

LaborTech, the annual three-day conference on media and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the global labour movement, got underway on November 17 2006 in screening videos from India, Japan and Korea.
LaborTech, the annual three-day conference on media and information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the global labour movement, got underway on November 17 2006 in screening videos from India, Japan and Korea.

Dorothy Kidd, chair of the department of media studies at the University of San Francisco, presented the first video, with which she has been involved with. The first video made by the Self Employed Women Association (SEWA), detailed the struggle of women in Gujarat, India, trying to employ technology such as cell phone and farming equipment to catalyse empowerment in that region. In the very professionally made film, the members of the SEWA collective of women argued in favour of affordable price, technology and capacity-building as the three elements needed to make labour video a reality outside of professionals’ circle.

In the second documentary introduced by Vivian Price, an ex-electrician and long-time labour advocate from the US, women construction workers in Japan talked about their working conditions. “The main difference between construction workers in the global North and the global South,” Price said, “is that in the North they choose to become construction workers while those in South don’t”. This film is part of a larger project documenting construction workers throughout South Asia.

The third film was about union-busting specialist and mega corporation Samsung, a Korean company. Introduced by Jiyoung Lee, one of two videographers from Korea attending LaborTech, the video travelled through the history of Samsung’s anti-union tactics, especially since 1989. One of the issues raised in the film is the control Samsung exercises over cell phone technology.

It was also quite nice to see the Big Brother Awards (BBA) on tape, in the Korean context. The November 2005 BBA ceremony in Seoul seems to have been a big success there, with many corporations such as Samsung and Korean governmental agencies getting awards handed over in a theatrical manner by anti-surveillance and censorship activists.

No votes yet

Sign in to APC.org