February 26, 2021
Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards started Manual Labours in 2013 as a research project exploring our physical and emotional relationships to work. The Global Staffroom grew out of this, and Owen Kelly talks to them about it.
The project reconsiders current time-based structures of work (when does work start and end?) and reasserts the significance of the physical (manual) aspect of immaterial, affective and emotional labour. It has gone through five disctinct phases so far.
As part of the current phases Jenny and Sophie launched a live video podcast on Twitch.tv called The Global Staffroom. This took the form of “a live podcast we hosted involving conversations and interviews with people about what it feels like to care, be cared for, not be able to care at work. Over 14 weeks during lockdown, every Monday lunchtime we brought together guests from different workforces and geographies to discuss architecture of home-work, racialised experiences of lockdown, emotional labour of health workers, social reproduction and remote working.
The podcast was subsequently purchased and archived by The Edinburgh University Art Collection.”