And who is ever going to break a lance for free lancers?
(Faculty of Arts UL Ljubljana)
Paper short abstract:
In this paper I intend to elaborate on the issues of free lancers, more specifically those who work in artistic professions. The discourse is initially based on their circumstances mostly in Slovenia, but compared to and broadened with the picture in Holland.
Paper long abstract:
In the first part I would like to illuminate the raising phenomenon of free lancing from the perspective of how the kind of work is perceived by free lancers themselves. I speak about the complexity of idea-processing, product-making, product-selling, advertising, private life, networking, etc, coming all together in a 24/7 working zone performed by a one-man-band. Such total connectedness with all the stages of production finally results in a total personal identification with work as well. Although free lancing may at a first glance sound like a dreamland: mostly attractive for its "flexibility" and "freedom of being your own boss", there are many traps and misunderstandings, which lately lead into more and more hidden abusive situations. In the second part I therefore focus on the way how free lance artists are integrated in the society from the perspective of increasing exploitation by other leading and established sectors. Often their position is so vaguely understood that it is no longer clear who provides work and who sets the price. Since free lancers are not joined among each other, they remain weak in fighting for better conditions and often turn to professionally unethical tactics of exploiting even each other's weaknesses. Is their "freedom" in fact their biggest "prison": not at all flexible?
Flexible capitalism: new forms of mutuality and diversity at work?