A day at work: Latin America and the Caribbean

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TRABAJO ('Work') is a collaborative film shot by ordinary people for the ordinary people. The film is the result of hundreds of videos shot in more than 10 countries in Latin America back in October 2017. 'Work' is a dialogue between, let’s say, normal routine such a wake up, get ready in the morning and go to work, with, let’s say, normalized circumstances, such as very poor public services, lack of opportunities, deep rooted inequality.

The film also reflects perseverance and tenacity of women and men that work very hard to get ahead, to feed their families.


Work in Latin America: a much needed discussion

Going to work is the essence of our routine, every day. Most of us spend more hours at work than in any other daily activity. However, for many workers, their income is not enough to cover basic needs. Moreover, many people, mostly women, go straight from their workplace on to spend untold hours doing unpaid housework.

People are fully aware and express themselves emphatically: we live in a system of privilege, a rigged system that benefits primarily those who hold the power.

It is a system of exclusion of opportunities due to race, nationality or gender, with the burden of unpaid care in most cases on women's shoulders. And critically,  workers’ income is simply not enough to cover basic needs despite long hours of work and effort.

'Work', the collaborative short movie

'Work' is a documentary style film that shows us the daily reality for many workers in an  open and spontaneous way. This short film narrates, without judgement, the typical workday in Latin America and the Caribbean, from dawn to midnight.

Some of the most compelling and captivating scenes  come from conversations, fragments of genuine and direct emotions of those wonderful people who shared a little moment of their routines and wisdom.

The film TRABAJO ('Work') is a conversation, a dialogue with many people. It is not about number-crunching and data on inequality. There is no call to action. Rather, it is a walk on the streets, through the fields, through the eloquence and wisdom of ordinary hard-working people who understand the system very well -- a system of privilege for a few -- but who are not willing to give up the fight.

This project presents how Latin Americans work. Share it!

This entry posted by Pablo Rivero, Campaigner, Oxfam Bolivia, on 29 January 2018.

Photo: Maria Cristina Lopez, working in Mexico. Credit: Oxfam