May 9, 2014, 5:46 p.m.
May 1 Demonstration and Festive Activism at La Butte Bergeyre

Living to work or working to live

When we visited @future_foundry we could see how the economy is spinning out of the control in its "fast and furious" urge to squeeze all the energy people have to work ever more, leading us to psychological and physical burnout

Arriving in Paris for the 1st of May, the one day during the year where workers are celebrated, you could see how work and identity are so interwined.

Even in France, which has been caricatured as "working to live, rather than living to work" is gradually moving to a "work to survive" mode, epitomised by a satirical cartoon I witnessed around the tensions of Sunday working.

What was also striking is how it's not just the French cultural identity that is being reshaped, but the identity of the 1st May.

While you can see the balloons of the different trade unions jostling with each other for exposure, when you dive into the protests, you see different kinds of communities fighting for their specific rights, from "gouines en colere" to "queers precaires" through to prisoners

On the face of it, this looked like a kind of "Glastopolitics", but it was unclear how these different groups were working together.

What role can trade unions have to provide their own infrastructure - membership, offices, even bargaining power - to support these groups?

How can symbolic events like the 1st May create platforms for groups to collaborate?

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