19 August 2013

Shout Back Festival: August 22-25

Some Wobblies from Vancouver are involved in organizing the 2nd annual anarcha-feminist summer festival, Shout Back Fest. The festival runs for 4 days, from August 22nd to August 25th, at venues throughout Vancouver. There will be music, workshops, skate gatherings and more at all the least offensive venues in the city. This festival focuses on marginalized and non-mainstream folks and their day-to-day realities. The material experiences of folks struggling to pay rent, or find work they can live on are part of this relationship. The fact that we are underpaid at our jobs, often have to have more than one job, and often still struggle to cover our base expenses absolutely affects every aspect of our lives. These realities are directly connected to how we contribute to our music scenes, and what that looks like. Many of us don't have expensive equipment, or the luxury to play music all the time, build promoter connections, or pay for jam spaces outside of our homes. It is no coincidence that access to these aspects of the music community also coincides with our access to the mainstream venues and opportunities in this city. SBF Organizer Nikki elaborates on this connection: "Making these connections between our work lives and our music lives is key in terms of making the choice to take up more space in these areas."

We say the festival is very much about refusal. In music, refusing to participate in a scene that doesn't include or recognize some folks, and at work, a refusal to be walked over by our bosses, to expect and take what we deserve from our labour. Vancouver Wobblies and other local organizers will be presenting "Direct Unionism" at one of the featured workshops taking place at this year’s festival. What does "Direct Unionism" have to do with a festival like Shout Back? Simply put, Direct Unionism, or Solidarity Unionism is when a group of people get together and recognize themselves as a union. The workshop offers a perspective on unionism that is a little different from what one might expect. Presenting unionism as a practice, from the perspective of the IWW, and established Solidarity networks, we will be discussing tactics on how to work with our peers to build resistance against boss and landlord exploitation. We will be discussing our work experiences, and what worker solidarity looks like in a service industry setting. One of the main goals of the workshop is for us to look at ways folks are already practicing solidarity in the workplace, to celebrate that and call it what it is: unionism.

shoutbackfest.tumblr.com - An all-ages anarcha-feminist, queer, anti-capitalist DIY music festival for anyone who wants it or thinks they might want it. A celebration in smashing patriarchy, and showcasing artists who are underrepresented.

Direct Unionism workshop will take place on Friday, August 23rd @ 7 PM at Rainbow Connection (see Festival Pass). Pamphlets and other materials will be provided.

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