Should labour rights be decoupled from formal employment?

By Séverine Deneulin

Earlier this month, I attended the weekly meeting of ‘Vendedores Libres’ (or free sellers). They are a group of people who try to make a living by selling goods on the city streets and on public transport. They are an estimated 10,000 street vendors active in the 21 square kilometre boundaries of the federal capital city of Buenos Aires. Occupying the public space is illegal without a permit, but the city administration has consistently refused to issue permits to street vendors. In the face of constant threat of eviction, and pervasive bribing, manipulation and violence, they decided to unite so that they could know their rights better, develop strategies to carry on their work without fear, and most essentially, being recognized as workers entitled to the same labour rights as private and public sector workers. Continue reading

Imagining war, Selling charity

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

by Oliver Walton

Sainsbury’s Christmas advert has stoked considerable controversy. It involves a cinematic re-telling of the “Christmas Truce”, where Allied and German soldiers ceased fighting on Christmas Day and played a friendly football match together on the stretch of No Man’s Land between their trenches. While the film’s power has been widely acknowledged, the propriety of the subject matter for advertising and fundraising has also been questioned. Continue reading

Gated Communities Lock Cities into Cycles of Inequality

(This blog was originally posted on The Conversation)

By Séverine Deneulin  and Roy Maconachie

In recent years, many films have portrayed the landscape of urban marginality and inequality in Latin America. Brazil Central Station and City of God were both popular, but few can rival the Mexican thriller, La Zona (the Zone), in depicting the disturbing panorama of inequality in Latin America’s megacities and the consequences of socially and economically divided cities. Continue reading