For Gilda, I’ve worked with Latin American foreign workers who clean Israeli homes and businesses for a living, including the CCA. In the video, they exhibit strange behaviour, such as fantasy or role-play in their usual places of work. The cleaners’ seemingly strange behaviour might be explained by their connection to a fictional guild that congregates in a blue “temple” complete with candles. Beyond serving as a union and support network, the guild takes on pseudo-religious attributes akin to a cult inspired by pagan-catholic saint worship.
Foreign workers lack citizenship and therefore their rights are not safeguarded under traditional domestic law. In practice, this leads to precarity: material and psychological insecurity. The guild-cum-cult serves as a source of both spiritual and civic empowerment since it's rooted in Marxist unionizing, albeit fictional as no such union exists in Israel. Unlike unions, which were established to create collective bargaining power during the Industrial Revolution, guilds were closed, holistic, medieval associations of tight-knit skilled trades-people that infused all aspects of life, including the spiritual, social, and domestic lives of their members, often over several generations.
Single Channel HD Video, 13 min
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