The screening of this film, Nightcleaners: Part 1 by the Berwick Street Collective, was part of Celebrating Women in Southwark season. The event was organised by Acme’s Southwark Artist-in-Residence 2008-2009, Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with film co-director Humphry Trevelyan and people currently involved in researching and campaigning for better working conditions for night cleaners.
For her residency, Ana Laura undertook a research project Night Time in Southwark consisting of events, walks and site-specific interventions. Focusing on the way people interact, Ana Laura’s work is influenced by different cultures, attitudes and how we live together, using a variety of mediums including sculpture, events and performance.
Nightcleaners: Part 1 is a documentary created by members of the Berwisk Street Collective in 1975. Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan came together to portray the contemporary struggles of women who worked cleaning office buildings at night. The film chronicles the conditions with which the workers are confronted and their efforts to overcome through a vigorous campaign to unionise. Over the last decade the film is in gaining in recognition and has been screened across the UK in venues including Tate Modern and the AV Festival, Newcastle.