Every once in a while a really brilliant public-awareness campaign comes along. Here’s one of them. (Videos below.)
As the folks at #coglioneNo (No Morons Here) write on their site:
[#coglioneNo] is a reaction to the cheapening of creative work by those who agree to provide their services in exchange for “visibility” or in order to associate themselves with some sort of cultural status symbol. It’s a reaction to job announcements for “free work” — because we need to beef up our résumés, because we’re young after all, because for you it’s not really like work; it’s what you do for fun…. This January, we at ZERO add our voices to those of many other creative workers who hear such comments over and over. Yes, we may be young, we may be freelancers, we might do creative work, but we want to remind everyone: We’re WORKERS, not morons.
Though #coglioneNo is produced by Italians confronting the near-total meltdown of their economy, the Italian Situation isn’t, as it turns out, all that different from the Everywhere Else Situation when it comes to people who do so-called “creative” work (everything from the traditional visual and “plastic” arts to web and graphic design to absolutely anything having to do with words). We’re increasingly asked (even expected) to work for free.
The only small clarification we’d make to the #coglioneNo campaign is that this isn’t an issue only for young people entering their fields for the first time. In translation and interpreting (and their allied professions, editing, indexing, subtitling, etc.), it’s happening to people who’ve been working for decades.
If you don’t speak Italian, click on the CC icon below the video for a non-native translation in English of what’s being said. More or less. (We know. We can’t have everything.)