For a Care Statute. A Collective Writing Proposal for a Legal Fiction with Real Effects

Study Group

25 February – 3 June 2021 - 4:30pm / Nouvel Building, Protocol Room

Darya von Berner, Cintia, from the photographic series “Political Maternity/Maternidad política”, 2015–2019
Darya von Berner, Cintia, from the photographic series “Political Maternity/Maternidad política”, 2015–2019

What would happen if we thought of care as a job? What is stopping us from thinking that way? What is gained and what is lost? Why don’t those who provide care have the right to rest, retire and receive payment? Why does this activity remain marginalised from the productive, the public and the visible? And what if we thought and wrote about rights, payment and the relationships of bodies that gestate and support?

This study group sets out from these questions to propose a collaborative exercise of legal fiction, the aim being to formulate, on the basis of Spain’s Workers’ Statute, a possible Care Statue, voluntarily applying the customary labour law language and the trade union struggle as an appropriation that sets in motion political imagination and foreshadows future scenarios.

The programme is divided into five sessions approached from trans-inclusive, intersectional, anti-racist, non-Eurocentric and non-essentialist feminisms, with each encounter organised around a talk given by a guest speaker, followed by an exercise to collaboratively write the Statute. The study group coordinators, Luisa Fuentes Guaza and Marta Malo, are joined by lawyer and activist Marta Busquets; writer, teacher and activist Silvia Federici; carer and activist Graciela Gallego; sociologist, educator and translator Helen Torres; and teacher and researcher Cristina Vega.

Programme

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Session 1. What Are the Bodies or Sphere of Application?

Who administers care and who receives care, both in the home and in other social care institutions (schools, care homes, youth centres, centres for vulnerable children…)? Why these bodies and not others? What are the implications in terms of the position in the social body? Taking on these questions, this introductory session sets out the idea of a Care Statute and will delve into speculative fiction as a transfeminist exercise of prefiguration for urgent futures.

 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Session 2.  What Are the Subject Matter and Infrastructures?

By way of a reflection on the specific nature of work implied in care, a debate is sought around the means of production upholding its current social organisation. The demands and needs, as much of bodies that care as bodies that require care, enable us to imagine which infrastructures could foster more agreeable and less oppressive social organisation. 

 

Thursday, 22 April 2021

Session 3. What Are the Rights?

Which rights would correspond to bodies that care and bodies that need care? On the basis of Article 4 of Spain’s Workers’ Statute, there will be a study of equivalent rights for the Care Statute and the formulation and guarantee types such key rights may have, for instance the right to rest time (Article 37). Furthermore, there will be a definition of the need to define new and specific rights for care work. 

 

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Session 4. What Are the Working Hours and Payment?

How can we establish hours and payment for the range of care practices? This session seeks to explore further the concept of salary, its structure, the wage guarantee fund and interprofessional guaranteed minimum wage. Different quantification strategies drafted from the feminist economy to determine the cost of assets and services produced by bodies that take on care work will be discussed here. In addition to attempting to unravel the different types of work accumulated in this sphere, the aim is to imagine another structuring of working hours, which are generally continuous, that does not naturalise either the exhaustion of care bodies or the infantilisation of cared-for bodies.     

 

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Session 5. What Are the Possible Unionisations?

Can we articulate collective negotiation in care work? Drawing on references of articles that regulate collective negotiation, this session attempts to identify the agents that should sit around a possible negotiation table on the social organisation of care: managers, government, unions… additionally, there is a desire to think about modes of unionism of care work in different variants: Which mechanisms of organisation, tools of self-protection and strategies of pressure and negotiation are being tried out and which can be conceivably imagined?

 

Participants

Marta Busquets Gallego is a feminist activist and lawyer specialised in gender and sexual and reproductive rights, and president of Dona Llum - Associació Catalana per un Part Respectat. She is a podcaster on Maternidades con gafas violetas and author of the book Mi embarazo y mi parto son míos (Pol·len, 2019).

Silvia Federici is an Italian-American writer, teacher and feminist activist who has been one of the driving forces behind campaigns started to vindicate wages for housework done by women as a claim from the feminist economy. She worked for a number of years as a teacher in Nigeria and is currently professor emerita at Hofstra University in New York. Both paths meet in two of her best-known works: Calibán y la bruja: mujeres, cuerpo y acumulación originaria (Traficantes de Sueños, 2004) and Revolución en punto cero: trabajo doméstico, reproducción y luchas feministas (Traficantes de Sueños, 2013).

Luisa Fuentes Guaza is an independent researcher and theorist and activist for emancipatory, anti-racist and non-colonial maternal work. She coordinates the study groups on maternal work in the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Centre: Critical Bodies that Gestate and/or Support and The Switch of Internal Mobilisations (Intimate-Revolutions) on Maternal Work. Furthermore, she works in collaboration with institutions, platforms and collectives in Central America, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

Graciela Gallego Cardona has worked caring for the elderly for the past 19 years and is an activist for the rights and dignity of domestic and care workers. She is one of the promoters of the recently conceived Union of Home and Care Workers (SINTRAHOCU).

Marta Malo is a translator and independent researcher and editor and co-author of Nociones comunes. Ensayos entre investigación y militancia (Traficantes de Sueños, 2004) and A la deriva por los circuitos de la precariedad femenina (Traficantes de Sueños, 2004). She has helped drive different spaces and initiatives of activist research, such as Precarias a la deriva, Observatorio Metropolitan, Ferrocarril Clandestino-Manos Invisibles, Entrar Afuera and Laboratoria.

Helen Torres is a sociologist, educator and translator who works from feminist and decolonial perspectives in the articulation between language, art and politics. Her publications include the novel Autopsia de una langosta (Melusina, 2010) and the anthology Relatos marranos (Pol·len, 2015). Moreover, she has developed geo-localised sound narratives and literary walks, and specialises in the work of Donna Haraway, translating a number of her works into Spanish. She currently conducts workshops of speculative fabulation.

Cristina Vega has been a research professor at the Department of Sociology and Gender Studies at the Latin American University of Social Studies (FLACSO), Ecuador, since 2011, and is coordinator of its PhD in Sociology (2020–2023). She is also part of the Ecuadorian feminist collective Flor de Guanto. Her research centres on Gender Studies, focusing on an analysis of work, reproduction and care. At the present time she is conducting a gender-based study of reactionary advances.


Education programme developed with the sponsorship of   Santander Fundación

  • Admission:

    Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior registration by filling out the following form, until 17 February (capacity: 15 people)

    Sessions:

    25 February, 11 March, 22 April, 6 May, and 3 June 2021

    Times:

    From 4:30pm to 7:30pm

    Coordinated by:

    Luisa Fuentes Guaza and Marta Malo

    Organised by:

    Museo Reina Sofía

    Force lines:

    Action and Radical Imagination; Contemporary Disturbances

    Education programme developed with the sponsorship of the Banco Santander Foundation

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