In early 2020 (just before COVID-19 landed in Ireland), A4 Sounds in Dublin hosted a group of artists to participate in an experiment as part of their artistic programme ‘We Only Want the Earth.’ The experiment asked if a trade union model was feasible and desirable for artists in Ireland. To investigate, the artists involved set up a temporary one-month trade union, discussed working conditions and issues, hosted a union event, and, ultimately, voted to develop to the union after the experiment into a permanent organisation that would democratically represent artistic labour.
For the next 12 months, over 400 artists from across the island expressed interest in membership. While dozens of volunteers built Praxis from the ground up, we have helped and guided a number of artists with issues in their place of work.
The union provided me with formal procedure to explore issues related to systemic payment issues related to Culture Night. This research and dialogue with other artists has informed how I will approach workplace issues in the future. – Ruairí Ó Donnabháin / Outreach Officer / Choreography & Visual Art
We represent visual artists, theatre makers, dancers, writers, comedians, musicians, DJs, designers, filmmakers, performers, and more.
“By working together in a union, I believe we can challenge our current position and achieve a better deal for all artists.” Praxis Member, Augustine O Donoghue, Visual Artist
“Our wages were slashed in the aftermath of the 2008 economic collapse and for over 13 years they have yet to recover. As most arts events are on hold because of COVID-19 restrictions, this is the opportune moment for us to organise” Praxis Member, Scott Power, Musician and Writer
“People often think of artists as individuals who work alone. However, in reality artists are always collaborating and inspiring each other. We at Praxis believe that working together will help us to improve our working conditions, just as it helps us improve our art.” Praxis Chairperson, Kerry Guinan, Visual Artist
Artists make Ireland a lively, cultural place to live and Praxis: The Artists’ Union of Ireland believes the labour of its members should be properly valued. That is a key message across the island, as artists launch their trade union.
Praxis: The Artists’ Union of Ireland exists first and foremost for its members.
Join the union!
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