Rastplatz, this

HD Video, 38,22 min, color, sound, 2021

A portrait of a good socialist working man, leased as a laborer in the west in the 1970s. The ‘Leiharbeitergesetz’, deutsche wunder, wilde Streikes and socialist republic of romania. The class infrastructure of work migration: passport was taken upon arrival!  Worker’s body functions and functioning taken care of. His stories of glory, and the things that were left unsaid. The cracks in the footage. macroscale <> microscale: the informal carpet commerce economy developing alongside m.e.g.a.l. Humor as surviving mechanism, but an underlying improperness becomes stringent. He chose socialism. Buried in landscape. A minor history. Marginal, yet intrinsically connected to capital.  Memory: why does he remember exactly each detail of those 3 years and 3 months, but has to look into his notebook for the birthdates of his two children?

A video essay starting from the work experience of my grandfather, a welder from the socialist republic of Romania, who worked in the BRD in the 1970s as a so-called ‘Leiharbeiter’.  The situation of the subcontracted workers workers in BRD at the time is not so well known, as there were far fewer workers in this situation, in comparison to the Gastarbeiter, which were already joining forces with the worker’s movements, striking for better working conditions and rights. However, the situation around the ‘Leiharbeiter’ is important to trace from those incipient years, where cold war economy meant supplying the deutsche wunder with socialist work force.  The contracting companies, positioned as intermediaries for supplying the work force, have become the norm in EU’s economic model, with catastrophic effects for the workers.  In the 1970s, the ‘Vermittlungsfirma’ was the state itself. 

Revisiting the places brough up in the oral histories of my grandfather, tracing down people he met and interacting with the landscape in which his work took place, I am adding my own perspective and experiences as a migrant worker as a layer to the video work I propose.

Project funded by BMKÖS, RKI Berlin, MA7, thealit and Bildrecht

A portrait of a good socialist working man, leased as a laborer in the west in the 1970s. The ‘Leiharbeitergesetz’, deutsche wunder, wilde Streikes and socialist republic of romania. The class infrastructure of work migration: passport was taken upon arrival!  Worker’s body functions and functioning taken care of. His stories of glory, and the things that were left unsaid. The cracks in the footage. macroscale <> microscale: the informal carpet commerce economy developing alongside m.e.g.a.l. Humor as surviving mechanism, but an underlying improperness becomes stringent. He chose socialism. Buried in landscape. A minor history. Marginal, yet intrinsically connected to capital.  Memory: why does he remember exactly each detail of those 3 years and 3 months, but has to look into his notebook for the birthdates of his two children?

A video essay starting from the work experience of my grandfather, a welder from the socialist republic of Romania, who worked in the BRD in the 1970s as a so-called ‘Leiharbeiter’.  The situation of the subcontracted workers workers in BRD at the time is not so well known, as there were far fewer workers in this situation, in comparison to the Gastarbeiter, which were already joining forces with the worker’s movements, striking for better working conditions and rights. However, the situation around the ‘Leiharbeiter’ is important to trace from those incipient years, where cold war economy meant supplying the deutsche wunder with socialist work force.  The contracting companies, positioned as intermediaries for supplying the work force, have become the norm in EU’s economic model, with catastrophic effects for the workers.  In the 1970s, the ‘Vermittlungsfirma’ was the state itself. 

Revisiting the places brough up in the oral histories of my grandfather, tracing down people he met and interacting with the landscape in which his work took place, I am adding my own perspective and experiences as a migrant worker as a layer to the video work I propose.

Project funded by BMKÖS, RKI Berlin, MA7, thealit and Bildrecht