Monday, 29 February 2016

: Meet workers from occupied and self-managed factory in Bosnia

Subject:Meet workers from occupied and self-managed factory in Bosnia
Date:2016-02-28 19:17
From:Thomas Unterrainer <>
To:Thomas Unterrainer <>

Dear all,
As finale for the current exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary on the politics of worker self management, we are hosting a two-day event inviting all local workers, artists and activists to join. We are hosting workers and allies who occupied a detergent factory in Tuzla Bosnia and have set up a local university who are very interested in meeting local labour organisers and activists interested in self-management.

Here is the schedule of events:
3 March 3:30
Nottingham Contemporary are hosting a meet and greet for local activists and the workers from Tuzla. The workers in Tuzla are very keen to meet any trade unionists or activists active in the Midlands. Please email if you can attend.
Public event at Nottingham Contemporary at which workers and allies will describe the struggle to occupy the factory and set up a worker's university. At the event local activists will be invited to share a key word related to their struggle through a short (5 minute) presentation
Workshop on art and worker solidarity
At this event the Tuzla workers and allies will be accompanied by other people working against neoliberalisation in former Yugoslavia and worker / artist collaborations in the UK past and present. Again, everyone will be asked to participate in the discussion and bring a Key Word into the conversation. At the end of the workshop will be some time to think about how to work together as artists and workers against the current situation.
We really hope you can make these events.
You can book at the above link, or just show up (though to make sure there's enough coffee likely best to book on)

Friday, 19 February 2016

Save the Cass at Aldgate.

Update: Save the Cass at Aldgate.
Support the nomination for Central House as a Community Asset (London Borough Tower Hamlets). Join the Community Group at:
Petition the LMU Board of Governors: Change your current strategic plan ‘One Campus, One Community’, and pursue a two-site solution.
Read this:
Open Letter 
We, the undersigned, call on London Metropolitan to review its current Strategic Plan, ‘One Campus, One Community’, in light of its consequences for the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. We call on London Metropolitan to pursue a two-site solution that keeps the education of art, making and design alive and kicking where The Cass began in London’s East End. 
The Cass is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary activity – an outward facing community located in London’s East End, making everything from architecture to city plans, furniture to film, fine art to precious objects. It engages the most up-to-date industries and practitioners; works with local partners and communities; hosts an enviable diversity of students from all walks of life and travels the world with its work; a model that is successful, dynamic and a civic asset. 
Its future is endangered by a homogenised vision of academic education, part of a short-sighted national trend in the new universities. As Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, has said, it is essential to develop the skills of making through hands-on learning. At university level this means taking responsibility for accessible practical education and embracing the opportunities this creates for the success of British industry and society as a whole. It means we need to fully understand the national enterprise of educational reform that began in the mid-nineteenth century, sponsoring the arts and crafts movement and the establishment of colleges and technical institutes, which informed the polytechnics as well as Russell Group universities such as Imperial College, Queen Mary University and Goldsmiths. We should know by now that learning is not restricted to the purely academic. Making is also learning. It can be done well or badly. The Cass does it well.
The Cass is named after Sir John Cass, who established one of London’s oldest education charities with a historic mandate to found a polytechnic institute at Aldgate to serve the population of east London. The question of place is significant. Universities are not silos but play a dynamic role in their communities. Threats to move the Cass, dubbed the ‘Aldgate Bauhaus’, out of Aldgate would destroy its own rich ecology and diminish the diversity and opportunities of its East End location. The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has expressed his opposition strongly. 
The Cass inhabits one of the last architectural assets of London Guildhall University, a bold 1960s building opposite the Whitechapel Gallery. The building is being sold to help finance London Metropolitan’s vision for ‘One Campus, One Community’ in Holloway. The plan is to deconstruct the schools of art, architecture and design, uproot 2300 students, and close courses that don’t conform to the new vision. The prestigious silversmithing and jewellery, and the country’s last musical instrument making courses, were among those announced for closure last week. Despite the University’s claims, the most recent survey shows the ‘One Campus, One Community’ plan does not have student backing.
The issue is not just about changing address and revisiting the menu, it is about a failure to respect the integrity of hands-on creative education or understand the real skills involved that make it attractive to students and their employers and enable it to thrive. Homogenisation is not the way forward.
London Metropolitan as an institution has had a troubled record of senior management. But the Cass is successful. It is doing everything a more robust institution might hope for in attracting students, improving results, winning awards, engaging with commerce and the community, inventing new ways to work. Cass graduates helped found Assemble, a collective of architects, artists and designers creating projects in tandem with communities, recently nominated for the 2015 Turner prize. 
We, the undersigned, call on London Metropolitan to review its current Strategic Plan, ‘One Campus, One Community’, in light of its consequences for the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design. We call on London Metropolitan to pursue a two-site solution that keeps the education of art, making and design alive and kicking where The Cass began in London’s East End.
 Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate; Lord Rogers, architect; Sir Kenneth Grange, Royal Designers for Industry; Sir David Chipperfield, architect; Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow; Earl of Clancarty, crossbencher; Lord Baker of Dorking, chairman, Baker-Dearing Educational Trust; Tom Dixon, designer; Jasper Morrison, designer; Rohan Silva, entrepreneur; Eric Parry, architect; Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery; Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum; John Kampfner, chief executive, Creative Industries Federation; Anish Kapoor, artist, Turner prize winner; Rosy Greenlees, executive director, Crafts CouncilJeremy Deller, artist, Turner prize wnner; Associate Professor Patrick Brill, artist known as Bob and Roberta Smith; Professor Florian Beigel, Diploma architecture tutor, The Cass LMU; Associate Professor Philip Christou, Diploma architecture tutor, The Cass LMU; Professor Peter Carl, Director of PhD programme in architecture, The Cass LMU; Associate Professor Mark Brearley, Head of Cass Cities The Cass LMU; Associate Professor Maurice Mitchell, Diploma architecture tutor, The Cass LMU; Peter St John, Partner Caruso St John Architects, Visiting Professor, The Cass LMU
Note: Open Letter to the Board of Governors of London Metropolitan University, published in the Observer on Sunday 22 November 2015:
VISIT for info on campaign /
SEE video clips for background