Another stimulating presentation at Beyond Glorious Conference was a project led by Luis Solero-Castro. At the heart of Beyond Glorious was debate around the links between art practice and social activism. Luis works at the University of East London, and he collaborated (alongside a musical director and video editor) with a group of the University’s cleaners, making a Complaints Choir-based video, The Cleaner’s Voice. The video depicts the cleaners’ issues with the external company managing them at the time: their contracts, working conditions and low wages.
This project led me to think deeply about the real tensions as well as the values of blurring the boundary between art practice and activism. In this case the video project upset the status quo significantly and ultimately contributed to the cleaners receiving the London Living Wage and new being managed by new external contractors.