Cinema and Labour

When and Where

Friday, March 31, 2023 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Room 222E
Innis College
2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5


Pietro Bianchi
Ling Zhang


On March 31, 2023, please join the Dramaturgies of Resistance JHI Working Group for “Cinema and Labour,” an event focusing on the unique relationship film has with labour processes. We will begin with a 4pm screening of Margot Benacerraf’s 1959 poetic meditation on salt mining in Venezuela, Araya. Araya is, according to Benacerraf, “a great metaphor, a poem.” Filmed by a two-person crew, the film takes place in and around the Araya peninsula’s salt marsh. Depicting the metabolic relation between a community and their natural surroundings, Araya is a one-of-a-kind meditation on extraction and exertion.

Following the screening will be two talks: Pietro Bianchi’s paper, entitled “Araya, or the Problem of the Cinematographic Representation of the Double Nature of Labor,” will focus on the peculiar problems posed for representations of labour under the capitalist mode of production, given the seismic importance of Marx’s concept of abstract labour. Ling Zhang’s paper, entitled “Crystallizing Labor with Cinema: Salt Mining and Routine Rhythm in the Global South,” will center on quotidian and iterative elements of labour processes.



Jackman Humanities Institute


2 Sussex Ave, Toronto, ON M5S 1J5