Oliver Ressler, an Austrian artist and co-director (with Dario Azzellini) of Five Factories — Worker Control in Venezuela, hosted special screenings of his film in Melbourne and Sydney. Ressler's presentations were part of the "If You See Something, Say Something" exhibition and were sponsored by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN), LASNET and the Melbourne Bolivarian Circle.
In Melbourne on January 25, Ressler spoke to 45 people about the Venezuelan people's struggle to change the economic and social conditions after centuries of exploitation and oppression. In Sydney, 65 people attended the screening on January 29 at the Mori Gallery, a sponsor of "If You See Something, Say Something" exhibition.
Five Factories, made in 2006, features inspiring stories from workers in five industrial production centres about how the revolutionary changes in their workplaces and communities are transforming their lives — economically, socially and emotionally. In each factory, the workers have taken control from the capitalist owners and are establishing cooperatives, or co-management, with the support of the Hugo Chavez government.
The interviewed workers give fascinating insights into alternative ways of organising themselves and the production processes, and speak about their hopes and dreams for a better world, and what Venezuela's "socialism of the 21st century" means to them.
Copies of Five Factories can be purchased online at <http://www.docushop.at>, and Oliver Ressler can be contacted at <http://www.ressler.at>. More information about the Venezuelan revolution, and projects being organised in Australia in solidarity with Venezuela, is available from the AVSN at <http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org> or email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.