The future of productive and reproductive labor is directly intertwined with the ecological future of the planet and the immediate environment of workers. In the capitalist system, wage labor and ecology are played off against each other, for example, in the form of so-called environmental blackmail, which promises jobs in ecologically polluting industries. Or, more recently, the other way around: by creating supposedly “green jobs” to legitimize mass layoffs.
In this context, the dilemma of jobs versus the environment only makes sense if we do not question the basic assumptions of capitalism. The problem therefore needs to be reframed: It is not “environmental protection that endangers jobs,” but the ecologically destructive or at best ecologically modernized business as usual (also read: fossil or green capitalism), whose class-specific consequences also affect many laborers’ living and working conditions.
How do we want to work now and in the future? What do we want to produce and under what conditions? How can we redefine work in a gender-just way? How can we redistribute work in an internationalist context and overcome the deep inequalities of the international division of labor?
The workshop group “Jobs vs. Nature” came up with two ideas. They created a survey and took it to the street, see some impressions here. The second idea included a podcast on the issue. The group collected different voices surrounding the topic. You can listen to the results in the player on top!
The ‘Jobs vs. Nature’ workshop consisted of: Sana Ahmad, Angelina Davydova, Paola Imperatore, Marina Milanović, Janus Petznik, Tanja Potezica, Gracie Matu and Cristina Pombo..
This project was conceived at the Berliner Gazette’s annual conference 2023 entitled ALLIED GROUNDS.
All text and images: Creative Commons License 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0). All images were taken at the ALLIED GROUNDS conference.