Ask about Ask!
Ask! (Actie Schone Kunsten*) is a group of cultural workers working in affinity with the domestic labour movement in the Netherlands.
Although there is a demand for domestic workers in the Netherlands, they are not yet officially recognized as workers. Their demands to counter this situation include, recognition and respect for their work as “work”, opposing the criminalization of undocumented domestic workers, and pushing for the Dutch ratification of the ILO convention for the proper regulation of domestic work. We, members of Ask!, experiment with making visible the conditions and demands “invisible work” in affinity, while reflecting on our own “domestic conditions.”
The group has been formed along with the development of ‘The Grand Domestic Revolution – User’s Manual’ (GDR), a two year long “living research” project on the possibility of a domestic commons, developed by Casco Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht. Two GDR Town Meetings, held on 26 February and 26 March 2011 hosted a discussion for domestic workers and cultural/art workers with shared concerns on the contemporary status and condition of domestic work. These meetings became the seed occasions for Ask!
*playing off of Schone Kunsten’s double meaning in Dutch as the “cleaning arts” and “fine arts”.
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