Credit: The cover image design is the result of a collaboration between WIENWOCHE, Senay Mohamed and Annalisa Cannito
What if ‘the sweetness of doing nothing’ (the ‘dolce far niente’) was not the privilege of some, but the right of everybody?
morgen mach ich blau / tomorrow I won’t work: walls in Vienna exhibit this graffiti, a claim for the right to do nothing, the right not to work.
An anonymous writer who writes this is probably a Viennese worker ... aren't we all? But morgen mach ich blau / tomorrow I won’t work is not a simple request not to work the next day, it is a political demand for a different society. One where work would not mean coercion, separation and a platform for exploitation.
How would life look like if we worked (only) when we wanted, where we wanted and what we wanted, where not to work would be accepted whenever needed? In which way would such a society produce itself?
Some of us are allowed to work and are immersed into the work machine, some can't find work, while others have no right to work at all, being in a constant situation of limbo, living a life of suspense and absurdity, waiting for the day to finally get their permission.
The work ‘culture’ that the western capitalist system imposes is possible through the fetishisation of work. The so called 24/7 economy, with no real rest, promotes a belief that to work hard, to be busy, to subordinate all life to work is a sign of success and growth. But this 'success' doesn’t offer security and quality of life, it offers precarity … for documented and undocumented workers.
Private property, limited rental contracts, limited work contracts. Work, better, faster, harder, better, faster… The mantra is: du MUSST arbeiten / you HAVE to work!
It comes as no surprise that people are feeling miserable, burnt out and sick. The instructions to relax and enjoy both work and life fail in a world made to improve productivity, not life.
Laziness is a sign of bad morals, waste of time, hedonism. Even to rest properly creates a feeling of guilt in workers as the stigma of unproductiveness is so extreme.
At WIENWOCHE we have been claiming Forever Together, but how can we be forever together if we are working for money all the time and subsequently have no or only little time for each other? Capitalism will not give this time to us. We need to take it.
In 2017, let’s therefore think together the dolce far niente that can’t work in existing production conditions, because it doesn’t mean not to work at all, not to be active, but to be free. To be free to choose.
How did people negotiate and even change work relations in the past? What are the models for today? What do our struggles look like? Discussions have taken place: demand for shorter hours of paid work, higher minimum wage, more protection of workers, better social services, basic income, total redistribution of wealth, revolution.
What can bring us to work with pleasure, to work and not be separated from ourselves and others, not to be anxious, exhausted and stressed? What do alternatives offer?
What could be the vision for dolce far niente?
Ako imate problema da razumete engleski ili nemački, kontaktirajte nas na vašem jeziku.
Almanca veya İngilizceyle probleminiz varsa bize kendi dilinizde başvurabilirsiniz.
كتغل يف انب لاصتالا ىجري ةيناملألا ةغللا وأ ةيزيلجنإلا ةغللا مهف يف ةبوعص كيدل ناك اذإ
Si tienes problemas para entender Inglés o Alemán por favor contáctanos en tu propio idioma.
For WIENWOCHE: Nataša Mackuljak und Ivana Marjanović