Laboring for Home: Working to Stay, Working to move

This text is a contribution to WORKPLACE, which is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and the Canadian Centre for Architecture within the context of its year-long research project Catching Up With Life.
Over the past five hundred years, two hundred years, one hundred years, thirty years, ten years, year, labor has changed. The way we work—the things we do, the ways and places we do them, who and what we do them with—has transformed. In parallel, so has our understanding of the world, of the city, of architecture, perhaps of life. “Work validates one’s being-here. Here, where there is capital accumulated from the working of other bodies. Being able to work can be a privilege that creates a pathway into fortified forms of comfort. Working is also nesting, a way to anchor, to refuse to be moved. Many times, this means to extend and expand one’s body to other bodies. To create a collective body through networks of kin, to be able to collectively weigh heavy, to resist displacement, to become space.”

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Top: Riots in Afrikaanderwijk, Rotterdam, 1972. Local residents throw household goods belonging to Turkish guest workers out onto the street. Source: Municipality of Rotterdam (Rotterdam Stadsarchief). Photo: Ary (A.) Groeneveld.
Bottom: Photo by me.