developed in the framework of the Momentography of a Failure project created by Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh
The platform economy is experiencing an enormous growth spurt in many parts of the world, which is further fueled by the Corona pandemic. As it is a relatively young industry, workers are often poorly paid and otherwise exploited, especially when working for larger corporations. The first trade unions are fighting for the protection of workers' rights and against numerous gray areas that still exist in the labor laws in the digital world. The body of work Pu Drop Repeat / A Solitary Crowd reflects on two sides of this fast developing form of labour. On the one side there are the food couriers for companies such as Lieferando and Wolt who are struggling to unionize as the companies themselves have no interest in facilitating any infrastructure that would help them. One rider I talked to described his work as solitary, as he starts every shift from home and barely has any contact to other riders. The other side of the story are the self organized riders from the Khora collective, who often have a great passion for bicycle culture and who regularly meet after work or during their break. For them working as bicycle food couriers is part of an identity, forming a community that opposes the capitalistic concept of larger companies. What is certain is that the so-called gig economy, the digital platform economy seems to be evolving from the exception to the rule, in major cities around the world and beyond. For the series A Solitary Crowd I met with couriers from different platforms, talked to them about their experiences and portrayed them.