Manual Labours Manual #3

The Complaining Body

Download the Manual Labours Manual #3 here.

Manual Labours Manual #3 is the third publication from the project Manual Labours. Entitled Manual Labours: The Complaining Body the publication presents the process, findings and analysis of an 18 month long investigation into the physical and emotional affects of complaining, receiving complaints and not being able to complain in the context of work. Research has involved a series of workshops with call centre workers in a London Borough Council, commuters on a train station platform in Worcester and staff dealing with student complaints in a UK University.

The Manual asks: what are the physical impacts on the body when complaining, receiving complaints and when you feel unable to complain? The emotional labour involved in listening to and managing complaints; the social and cultural conditions of complaining and the affect of not complaining all have repercussions on the body as a site of resistance, absorption and expulsion. Through texts, body diagrams, collages and scripts the publication employs the comments and conversations from the research to explore the normative discourses of the good, healthy, productive body which are disrupted by the complaining body. The uncomplaining body is often in fact a sick body, having to perform a healthy body and happy self by internalising and stifling our complaints. The publication reflects on stories of how and why the complaining body is performed, silenced and internalised.

Manual Labours: The Complaining Body is developed with the artist Sarah Browne, choreographer Hamish MacPherson and writer Ivor Southwood who have produced three new commissions in response to the theme and whose work features in 6 pages of this publication.

210 x 297mm 40 pages, colour, 2016
Published by Cultural Democracy Editions
Produced with editing and design support from Eva Weinmayr and Margherita Huntly
Printed by Hato Press
ISBN 978 0 9570282 4 1