A series of photographs capturing the spirit of the protesting Vita Cortex workers has been produced in order to mark the 100th day of the sit-in. Conor Buckley a freelance documentary photographer from Dublin visited the factory and shot the workers depicting them in their former job roles.
” I got in contact with the lads from the online campaign and told them that my idea was to show the contrast between the images of these workers in terms their of past and present. These guys were once ordinary workers living to provide for their families and over the past 100 days their faces have become images of social struggle. These people have worked hard all their lives many serving over 40 years in this environment to produce profit, now they have to occupy the same space in order to obtain what is morally owed to them.” said Conor.
These photographs are part of an ongoing series aimed at documenting Ireland’s current economic and sociological shift. The photographs depict how ordinary peoples lives have being drastically altered by the decisions and speculation of others, they show how roles have changed from worker to protester, from production space to dereliction.
The workers of Vita Cortex have been occupying the factory on the Kinsale Road in Cork since December 16th 2011. A resolution to the dispute has not been forthcoming despite a series of engagements with the Labour Relations Commission.
“It is great that Conor has taken the time to produce these photographs. I suppose it provide us with another way of telling our story. I was reading an article last week about how art in Britain experienced a renaissance of sorts during the Miners’ strikers in the early 80s. People used art as lens through which to understand and explain the changing nature of the times in which they lived. I think one day we will use art to try understand these 100 days,” said Greg Marshall who has 37 years service at Vita Cortex.