news texts projects bio links contact
by date by keywords by images
by date by keywords by images
by date by keywords by images

Amphibious fictions

english | castellano

Amphibious Fictions
Precariousness, domesticity and flexibility in the new ways of post-industrial labour: the towns of Terrassa and Mataró as case studies. 

Reasearch for Amphibious Fictions started in 2003 with the support of the Terrassa and Mataró town councils and finished in 2005 with the “Queda la marca” exhibition.  With this project my aim is to research the social, economic and emotional changes produced by the new production conditions imposed on the traditional textile sector, situated in the industrial belt that surrounds Barcelona. I was interested to see how these changes have effected the inhabitants of these towns, focusing especially on the lives of the female factory workers.
Terrassa and Mataró both have a well known social and industrial pasts. That is why they constituted  perfect locations to place two case studies. These studies analyse the relationships established between representation and the changes which have taken place in the workplaces and labour in what seems to be a contemporary global process: the shift from a factory based production system, firmly located and with structured hierarchies to a informal, networked and extremely flexible modes of production.
This documentary focuses on the contemporary phenomenon of Industrial Relocation. This happens as a consequence of attempts to optimize profits, and has helped to degrade the work conditions not only outside the European Union, but also in our countries.
This documentary compares the viewpoints of the Media (newspapers, radio, tv, etc…) which victimise workers and their stereotipes, to the ideas of the textile workers themselves (including both local and immigrant workers). It does this while showing how the informal economies in the textile sector (the called “illegal sweatshops”) are not a consequence of the recent arrival of immigrants, but are a product of the sector’s re-structuring which took place during the eighties, when many factories closed down. Then, the workers homes became the new workplaces increasing profits by negating the need to pay rent for factories, social security health, salary, etc…
The film finishes with a brief look into the future of these towns, which aim to change their new production centres in the “Information Age”. In the case of Terrassa, going to the audiovisual sector, and in the case of Mataró, diversifing and digitalizing its industries, and outsourcing a great part of its production. However, these two towns coincide in re-writing their industrial heritage in ways which forget or disguise the working class’ memory, also  the story how things were produces and how these towns were built while planning for the near future.
The documentary finishes with images shot in Birmingham and in London, and talks about a number of models used to deal with these transformations, some of them as close as the so called “Barcelona Brand”.

Related files:
 associated content
In the mood for work
Just do it! Bodies and images of woman in the new division of labour
Mom, I want to be an artist!
Real time
Bodies of production

documentary essay
work representation
representation criticism
body social construction
politics of memory