Pišu: Marija Duvnjak i Ana Šumanović

Dio projekta Risk Change  Muzeja moderne i suvremene umjetnosti u Rijeci, obilježenoga izložbom Između tamo i tamo – anatomija privremenih migracija, jest i radionica Centra za mirovne studije: Migrantski rad – Aktivistički doprinosi, nastala u suradnji s Odsjekom za kulturalne studije Filozofskog fakulteta u Rijeci.

Radionica je održana 17. ožujka 2017. na Odsjeku za kulturalne studije, a bila je namijenjena prvenstveno studentima/icama kulturologije. Neki od ciljeva radionice bili su: predstaviti dosadašnje aktivističke oblike rada na otvaranju teme migracija u javnosti, artikulirati raznolike društvene dimenzije migracija i rada, motivirati javnost za vlastiti angažman na temi, potaknuti stvaranje praktičnog i artikuliranje akademskog znanja na temu ekonomskih migracija i migrantskog rada.

„Htjeli smo radnike, a došli su nam ljudi“

O problematici migranata radnika iz istočne Europe pričali su: Iva Zenzerović (CMS), Julija Kranjec (CMS), Iva Ivšić (Mreža antifašistkinja, BRID), Branimir Šloser (BRID), Duga Mavrinac (IPAK) i Robert Kozma (grupa 484). Nakon njihova predstavljanja prikazan je kratki dokumentarni film Htjeli smo radnike, a došli su nam ljudi u kojemu se ukazuje na probleme migrantskog rada na konkretnom primjeru radnika migranata iz Bosne i Hercegovine u Sloveniji 2011. godine. Istaknuta su neriješena socijalna, ekonomska i pravna pitanja kroz 28-minutni film Hulahopa i CMS-a. Film prati nekolicinu građevinara i njihove životne (ne)uvjete. Svoje nezadovoljstvo situacijom u kojoj su se našli iskazali su mirnim prosvjedom na ljubljanskim ulicama. No, taj protest koji se proteže kroz cijeli film nije jedina vrsta otpora. Izložbama i plakatima željeli su natjerati javnost da dobiju uvid u taj ‘nevidljiv’ svijet i njihov problem. Aktivisti su porukama kao što su ‘Za koga je, dobro je’, ‘Bosanci, van!’, ‘Šuti i radi!’, ‘Ostavi djecu doma’, ‘Za tebe je dosta’ istakli svakodnevna ponižavanja i uvrede koje ti ljudi doživljavaju od strane poslodavaca na koje se ne oglušuje samo zakonodavstvo, već i javnost. Plakati su maknuti s ulica već drugoga dana, no naknadno – na inzistiranje Moderne galerije u suradnji s kojom je projekt pokrenut – plakati su vraćeni na ulice Ljubljane.

„To je normalno, to je Slovenija, to je tako“

Svoje svakodnevice opisivali su i radnici koji su skupili dovoljno hrabrosti javno progovoriti o vlastitoj situaciji. Jedan od njih je Armin Salihović, čija je priča samo jedna od mnogih koje dijele istu stvarnost, kojih je toliko da i oni sami počinju vjerovati kako je takav život ‘normalan’.

„Ja sam mislio da je to normalno, da rade po deset, dvanaest sati, subotama, nedjeljama, praznicima, to je normalno, to je Slovenija, to je tako“, iznio je svoja prvotna razmišljanja Armin.

Nažalost takva razmišljanja su vrlo česta, no i razumljiva. Kao što se u narodnoj predaji prenosi priča o mladom slonu koji je zavezan jednim malim utegom koji ga u ranoj dobi zapravo i sputava, te nakon bezbroj neuspješnih pokušaja bijega, slon i u odrasloj dobi, iako vezan istim utegom koji ga više ne sprječava doslovno, odustaje i misli kako je bijeg još uvijek nemoguć. Taj uteg jest zakon, koji sprječava te radnike u ikakvom nadanju boljemu, zapravo životu uopće.

Oni počinju vjerovati kako je taj ‘bijeg’ i dalje nemoguć. Te kada im se i aktivističke organizacije obrate i nude pomoć, oni ne pokušavaju jer je mentalna i zakonska barijera koja ih je predugo sprječavala i zastrašivala toliko ukorijenjena da se ne usuđuju niti pokušati. Taj zakon koji predstavlja njihov uteg, u stvarnosti im ne nudi nikakvu zaštitu niti prava, već samo obaveze. Ne nudi im zdravstveno osiguranje, niti im osigurava životni prostor dostojan čovjeka, već daje poslodavcu sve veću kontrolu nad životima radnika/ica.

„Između građevinarstva i prostitucije nema velike razlike“

Također, u filmu su pikazani i komentari stručnjaka u području migrantskog rada i radničkih prava. Svi uglavnom potvrđuju i opisuju ono što je jedan od njih, Jelko Kalcin (EU parlament, Slovenija), izrekao. Kalcin je, naime, opisujući prodavanje radnika i radnica bez ikakvih beneficija koje svaki ‘domaći’ radnik ima putem posrednika, građevinu usporedio s prostitucijom. Pritom navedenog posrednika može se smatrati i svodnikom, koji radnike poslodavcu poslužuje na srebrnom pladnju, od čega radnici vide samo sivilo.

„Kada govorimo o građevinarstvu usudio bih se reći, a to bi vrijedilo za većinu država članica Europske unije, da između građevinarstva i prostitucije nema velike razlike“, istaknuo je u filmu Kalcin. U filmu uz Jelka Kalcina govore i Andreja Kulunčić (vizualna umjetnica, Hrvatska), Andrej Kurnik (Fakultet društvenih znanosti/Socijalni centar ROG, Slovenija), Inga Žic (Ministarstvo gospodarstva, rada i poduzetništva, Hrvatska), Marija Pejčinović Burić (Odbor za europske integracije, Hrvatska), Srećko Horvat (filozof, Hrvatska), Veronika Bajt (Mirovni Inštitut, Slovenija), Walter Baler (Transform! – europska mreža za alternativno mišljenje i politički dijalog, Austrija), Haris Golemis (Transform! – europska mreža za alternativno mišljenje i politički dijalog, Grčka).

(Ne)odgovorena pitanja

Praktični aktivizam

Film je potaknuo razna pitanja kod polaznica radionice kao što je pitanje praktičnog aktivizma, odnosno zanimanje za konkretne načine na koje se može poduzeti nešto da se životi tih radnika mogu početi nazivati životom. To složeno pitanje ne može imati jednostavan odgovor. Ono što se na mikrorazini može učiniti zasigurno jest kontinuirano osvješćivanje javnosti o toj tematici. Općenito postavljanje i promoviranje tog problema u javnoj sferi, sve u cilju pokušaja dopiranja kako do samih radnika, tako i do zakonodavnih tijela koja donose neprihvatljive zakone.

Šire pitanje

Također, pitanje migracijskih radnika nije ograničeno samo na građevinu, već se radi i o radnicama migranticama, koje trpe jednake ako ne i gore uvjete. Konkretan primjer jesu njegovateljice koje migriraju u Italiju. One dijele sličnu lošu poziciju kao i građevinari u Sloveniji. One su također žrtve nehumanih i loše definiranih zakona, koji u ovom slučaju daju i slobodu određivanja iznosa plaća njihovim poslodavcima. Problem se ovdje nalazi u tome što velika većina obitelji koje zapošljavaju njegovateljice nemaju visok ekonomski status.

Upravo suprotno, često se nalaze u sličnoj poziciji kao i same njegovateljice s čime se prostor za pregovaranje visine plaće njegovateljicama znatno smanjuje. Iako je prošlo više od pola stoljeća od sistema separate, but equal u američkoj politici pedesetih godina dvadesetog stoljeća, koji se sastojao od niza restriktivnih zakonskih odredbi koje odvajaju Afro-amerikance od ‘bijelaca’, i danas . U to se vrijeme vrlo velik broj ‘crnih’ kućnih pomoćnica zapošljavao u ‘bijelačkim’ domovima, gdje su obavljale poslove dadilja, spremačica, kuharica, kao i sve ostale pomoćne poslove za koje su bile nevjerojatno podplaćene. Današnja situacija njegovateljica u Italiji, ne čini se toliko različitom.

Dakako, skupinu radnika/ica migranata/ica čine i tzv. sezonci, a migriraju samo unutar ‘svoje’ države. Njihova su prava i sigurnost također upitne. Često pristaju na uvjete stanovanja, plaćanja i radnih sati koje poslodavac zahtijeva ili nudi, i iako se čini da imaju izbor, isti im je zapravo oduzet.

 

Progresivno prije nego reaktivno

Budući da broj radnika migranata sve više raste, svi mi imamo poznanika koji je migrirao na neki način koji možda proživljava iste muke. Taj lanac iskorištavanja više ili manje steže sve nas. To osobno poziva svakog od nas na akciju, kako bi se stvari promijenile. Kako se ne bi više na tu situaciju reagiralo reaktivno, već progresivno, u smislu bolje spriječiti nego liječiti. Neprestanim promicanjem i postavljanjem ovog pitanja u javnom prostoru, te apeliranjem na zakonodavna tijela kao i promicanjem svijesti o ovoj problematici, broj žrtava ovakvih nepravdi može se i treba se smanjiti. Kao ljudi koji koji smo sami proživljavali slična iskorištavanja ili  bili svjedoci sličnih situacija, vrijeme je da prestanemo okretati glavu na drugu stranu i učinimo ‘nevidljive’ vidljivima.


 

Authors: Marija Duvnjak i Ana Šumanović

As a part of the Risk Change, EU project by the Museum of Modern  and Contemporary Art in Rijeka, Croatia, manifested by the exhibition Between There and There – the Anatomy of Contemporary Migrations, is also a workshop of  Center for Peace Studies (CMS) titled Migrant Work – Activist Contributions, made in collaboration with Cultural Studies Department at  Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. Workshop took place on March, 17th,  2017 at Cultural Studies Department  lecture room, and  it was intended mainly for Cultural Studies students.

Some of the workshop aims were: to present previous activist forms of  acts on opening of migration theme in public, to articulate various social dimensions of migrations and work, to motivate public for it’s own engagement on the theme, to stimulate practical and articulating of academical knowledge in field of economic migrations and migrant work.

 

”We wanted workers, but we’ve got people instead”

About problematics of  migrant workers from Easteren Europe discused: Iva Zenzerović (CMS), Julija Kranjec (CMS), Iva Ivšić (Mreža antifašistkinja, BRID), Branimir Šloser (BRID), Duga Mavrinac (IPAK) i Robert Kozma (group 484).  After the introduction,  they presented a short docomuntary ”We wanted workers, but we’ve got people instead” (2011)  in which are presented the main problems of migrant work on specific example  of  migrant workers  from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who migrated to Slovenia. The  unsolved social, economic and legal questions were raised through 28 minute film by Hulahop and CMS. The film shows a number of construction workers and their life (in)conditions. Dissatisfaction with their situation, in which they found themselves, was brought by them to the streets of Ljubljana. But the protest, which was shown through the whole film, wasn’t the only form of ressistance. With exhibitions and posters, they wanted to make the public to see their invisible world, and their problems. Through messages such as: “For who it is, it’s good”, ”Bosnians, out!”, ”Shut up and work!”, ”Leave your kids at home”, ”Enough for you”, they stressed various forms of humiliations and insults they experience on everyday basis by their employers. Their problems are being ignored not only by legislative, but also by public. Cosidering the fact that the posters have been removed from  the streets the very  next day by the City Government – but due to insistance of Modern Art Gallery that  the project was runned with – those posters were returned to the streets.

 

”That’s normal, that’s Slovenia, it’s as it is”

Their everyday life was also described by the workers who were brave enough to speak up about their situation. One of them  was Armin Salihović, whose story is just one of many that share the same reality. The common place is that they themselves start to believe life like that is normal.

„I thought that was normal, to work for ten or twelve hours a day, on Saturdays, Sundays, on holidays as well, that’s normal, that’s Slovenia, it’s as it is”, expressed Armin his original thoughts.

Unfortunately, that way of thinking is common, but also understandable. Like in the story of a young elephant that was tied by a small weight, which held it down from the young age. After numerous attempts of escape,  he started to believe that it’s impossible to break the chains. Because of that, even in his adulthood, althouth the weight remained the same size, he continued to believe that the chain is still holding him down, so he quit trying. That weight represents the law, that is holding the workers away from believing and hoping that there is still a chance for a better way of life.

They are also starting to believe the escape is still impossible. So, when the activist organization try to reach out and offer them help, they don’t even try, because the mental and legal barrier, that repressed and scared them for too long is so rooted they don’t even dare to try. In reallity, the law doesn’t offer them any protection or rights, only gives them obligations. It doesn’t offer them health care, neither asssures them living space worthy of a human being, rather gives the employer rising power over the lives of their employees.

 

„Between construction work and prostitution there is no big difference“

In addition, comments of experts in field of migrant labour and workers’ rights were shown in film. Mostly everyone confirms and describe the words said by Jelko Kalcin (EU Parliament, Slovenia). While describing the sellout of workers without any benefitions, which every indigenous worker has, by mediator, he compared construction work with prostitution. In this case, the mediator can be considered as „pimp“ who serves the workers to the employer on the silver platter. From that silver the workers see only drab.

„When we speak of construction work, I would dare to say, and it can be applied to most of EU countries, that between construction work and prostitution there is no big difference“, pointed out Kalcin. Together with Kalcin, in the movie there are other experts: Andreja Kulunčić (visual artist, Croatia), Andrej Kurnik (Social Studies College/Social Center ROG, Slovenija), Inga Žic (Ministry of Economy, Labour and Management , Croatia), Marija Pejčinović Burić (European Integrations Comittee, Hrvatska), Srećko Horvat (philosopher, Croatia), Veronika Bajt (The Peace Institute, Slovenija), Walter Baler (Transform! – European Network for alternative  Thinking and Political Dialogue, Austria), Haris Golemis (Transform! – European Network for alternative  Thinking and Political Dialogue, Greece).

(Un)answered Questions

Practical Activism

The film raised a lot of questions in participants’ minds such as the question of practical activism regarding specific ways in which something could be done so that the lives of those workers could be called lives. The question is complex, so the answer cannot be simple as well. What can be done on a micro level is constant raising of public awareness of this topic. Generally, setting and promoting of the problem in public sphere, with the final cause of trying to get to the workers as well as the legislative body which is making the unacceptable laws.

Wider Question

Furthermore, the question of migratin workers is not limited to construction work only. It is also about female migrant workers who are suffering the same, if not worse, conditions. Specific example are home caretakers who migrate to Italy. They share the same position as construction workers in Slovenia. They are also victims of inhuman and poorly defined laws, which in  this case are also giving the freedom of deciding about the amount of salary to their employers. The problem here is in bad economic position of the most families that employ those home caretakers.

The families who employs home caretakers, are often in the similiar poor economical situation, which decreases the rage of  negotiationg amount of wages. Although it’s been more than half of century after the regime separate, but equal in American politics in 1950s, that  consisted of series of restrictive legislations which seperate African Americans from ‘whites’, situation is not so different today. Back then, a lot of female ‘black’ housekeepers were working in ‘white’ households, where they runned multiple tasks such as babysitting, cleaning, cooking and all the other assisting jobs, for what they were incredibly underpaid. Today’s situtation of home caretakers seems not all that different.

Of course, in the group of migrant workers there are also seasonal workers, who only migrate inside their own state. Their rights and safety are questionable as well. Very often they agree to the habitation conditions, payments and working hours that employer offers or demands. Although it seems like they have a choice, that they can choose not to accept those terms, in reality, that choice is taken away from them.

Progressive Rather than Reactive

Considering that the number of migrants is constantly increasing, all of us know someone who migrated and who might be going through the same torment. That chain of exploatation more or less tightens all of us and that fact calls us all in person to act, so that the situation could be changed and so that the reactions to the situation wouldn’t be reactive anymore, but progressive in a sense ‘better safe than sorry’. By the continual promoting and setting of this question in public space, by appealing to legislative and by promoting the awareness of this issue, the number of victims of this injustice could be and needs to be decreased. As people who went through the similar exploitation  or were the witnesses of similar situations, it is time for us to stop turning our heads away and make the ‘invisible’ – visible.

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