NOBODY WANTS TO WORK ANYMORE
A portfolio by Roger Peet and Erica Thomas
“Nobody Wants to Work Anymore!” – that was the sign seen on the doors of thousands of businesses across the US as the COVID 19 pandemic churned. The bosses that hung up those signs were unable to see what was really happening: nobody wanted to work for them anymore. Employees at all levels of society had seen their employers’ willingness to sacrifice them in the service of business as usual, and their response was one of the largest mass resignations in US history.
Unorganized and unacclaimed, this simple act of repossessing the value of one’s own labor sent shock waves through the American economy, revealing the power that ordinary people have to affect the ways they are ordered to live their lives. What they were saying was that nobody wants to risk their life for work that only benefits the boss, nobody wants to have to decide between their children or their paycheck or to face a choice between destitution and death by disease or disaster. The truth behind those signs is that everybody wants their work to have some kind of meaning they can be proud of, to be useful, and to be a part of something larger than themselves.
This portfolio of prints is the outgrowth of a collaboration between artists and organizers in pursuit of that pride; looking for work that can build a new world for all of us, not just the wealthy and powerful few.
The portfolio consists of 7 11″x17″ risograph prints by Portland, Oregon artists Roger Peet, N.O.Bonzo, Sarah Farahat, Ali Cat Leeds, and Peter Nevins, and includes a bonus print and a stack of “radical confetti”, small stamped agit-prop messages designed for throwing around in public space, created by Anna Grey and Ryan Wilson Paulsen.
Images were created for a Propaganda Party at the closing of Erica Meryl Thomas’ show “Nobody Wants to Work Anymore” at PLACE gallery, 735 NW 18th, Portland OR on November 25th (Buy Nothing Day) 2022.
Printed at nun studio and Flight 64 studio in Portland OR.