Invitation to organizations to affiliate to the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

Oliver Ressler, Austrian artist & co-director of 5 Factories - Worker Control in Venezuela, visits Melbourne

Oliver Ressler, Austrian artist and co-director (with Dario Azzellini) of 5 Factories - Worker Control in Venezuela, will be in Australia in January. Come to a special Melbourne screening of his film followed by a discussion with the artist.

Melbourne Thursday Jan 25th, 7pm Trades Hall Council.
Entry is free but donations are welcomed to Venezuela solidarity groups who will be present on the night.

Endorsed by: Bolivarian Circle, LASNET and AVSN in conjunction with "If You See Something Say Something"

For further information contact Jorge Jorquera:
Email jorge@directaction.org.au
Ring 0431 720 787

Oliver Ressler is in Australia for:

If You See Something Say Something
Exhibition, workshop and newspaper project, January/February 2007

Participating artists:

Dmitry Vilenksy/Chto Delat? (Russia), Contra Filé (Brazil), Etcétera (Argentina),
Oliver Ressler (Austria) & Dario Azzellini (Italy), Taring Padi (Indonesia), Richard DeDomenici (UK), Al Fadhil (Iraq), Hito Steyerl (Germany), Arlene TextaQueen, (Australia) , David Griggs (Australia), pvi collective (Australia), SquatSpace (Australia), Daniel Boyd (Australia), Astra Howard (Australia), Keg de Souza (Australia), Zanny Begg (Australia)

5 Factories-Worker Control in Venezuela
In their second film regarding political and social change in Venezuela, after Venezuela from Below (67 min., 2004), Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler focus on the industrial sector. The changes in Venezuela's productive sphere are demonstrated with five large companies in various regions: a textile company, aluminum works, a tomato factory, a cocoa factory, and a paper factory. In all, the workers are struggling for different forms of co- or self-management supported by credits from the government. "The assembly is basically governing the company", says Rigoberto López from the textile factory "Textileros del Táchira". Machine operator Carmen Ortiz summarizes the experience as follows: "Working collectively is much better than working for another - working for another is like being a slave to that other".

The protagonists portrayed at the five production locations present insights into ways of alternative organizing and models of workers' control. Mechanisms and difficulties of self-organization are explained as well as the production processes. The portrayal of machine processes could be seen as a metaphor for the dream machine of the " Bolivarian process", and the hopes and desires it inspires among the workers. The situation in the five factories varies, but they share the common search for better models of production and life. This not only means concrete improvements for the workers. Aury Arocha, laboratory analyst at the ketchup factory "Tomates Guárico", emphasizes that the difference between "social production companies" (EPS) and capitalist corporations is that the EPS "work for the community and society". Carlos Lanz, president of the second largest aluminum factory in Venezuela, Alcasa, coins the key question: "How does a company push toward socialism within a capitalist framework?"

The film ends with an extended sequence from a management meeting at Alcasa, a company with 2.700 workers, with discussions about co-management and the changes of production relations they aspire towards.

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