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Det är ju alltid ett jättejobb att hålla ihop ett kollektiv
Benj Gerdes

From 2016 until 2019, a highly public conflict raged between the Swedish Dockworkers Union and the employer APM Terminals in the Gothenburg container port. From the workers’ perspective, the dispute, which led to a national strike and lockouts in ports across Sweden, was about working conditions and opportunities for influence in the workplace.  In Gerdes’s film, the dockworkers reflect on the conflict two years later, and also on how working in the harbor impacts their relationships with family and friends. In contrast to most of the media reports about the negotiations, Gerdes’s film features the workers’ personal stories. An underlying theme is how the specific conflict illuminates the tension between a local struggle for democracy and justice and the global system and infrastructures that encompass jobs in the harbor through multi-national corporations and flows of goods. 

Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:43:22
Color Color
Year 2021
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About the artist

Benj Gerdes

Benjamin Gerdes is an artist, writer, and organizer working in video, film, and related public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production, and popular imagination. His work focuses on the affective and social consequences of economic and state regimes, investigating methods for art and cultural projects to contribute to social change. Gerdes’s projects emerge via multiple articulations from long-term research processes conducted in dialogue with activists, trade unionists, architects, urbanists, geographers, and archival researchers. Prior to coming to the Institute for Futures Studies, he was based at the Royal Institute in Stockholm, where he conducted research and led a professor group in fine art and moving image for 5 years.