'Some Women, Other Women and all the Bittermen' is a new multi-channel video by Rehana Zaman that considers the role of the worker under global capitalism.
Some Women, Other Women and all the Bittermen collides a fictional soap opera about a corporate takeover with documentary fragments filmed by and about female migrant workers from the self led organisation Justice for Domestic Workers Leeds (J4DW Leeds). These six short films examine the shift in gendered and racially constructed worker relations from the 1980s to the present day.
A father who insists the beer is off, a son in law who is caught red handed, a daughter who longs to shatter the glass ceiling and a workplace usurper. Storylines of an industry in transition have been drawn from interviews conducted by the artist and adapted to reflect the conventions of popular British ‘continuing’ dramas.
Each installment of the soap opera is punctuated by conversations between members of J4DW Leeds. These extracts see women from the group discuss their experience as domestic workers in private houses, both in the UK and beyond, whilst campaigning to politicise the domestic sphere as a site of labour, power and exchange. The candid footage filmed by the group over several meetings upturns conventional narratives of working class labour, popularised as exclusively white and male, in northern Europe.
Presented as a large-scale installation this work is the culmination of a 12-month process involving research in Tetley's Brewery archive, interviews with ex Tetley’s Brewery workers, collaboration with screenwriter Joe Hepworth and workshops with women from Justice for Domestic Workers (Leeds) supported by curator and writer Amy Charlesworth, J4DW (London), Gill Park, Director of visual arts organisation Pavilion, artist Jo Dunn and seminal women’s collective Leeds Animation Workshop.