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Freeway to China

When the Los Angeles dock workers recently came out on strike in support of their Australian colleagues they were already facing trial for their secondary boycott during the Liverpool dispute. As such it was a courageous statement of support for fellow dockers. The Australian Government had previously colluded with a major company to force the workers off the docks, replacing them with a commando force they had rapidly trained in Dubai. Although the conspiracy backfired on the company, the Australian Government emerged unscathed from the whole unsavoury business. Allan Sekula made a body of work at the time of the Australian struggle dealing with the Los Angeles docks. Now he is coming to Liverpool to work with the families of those who were effected by the restructuring of the dockside and the loss of work that has resulted here. Sekula’s photographic process demonstrates his conviction that art is work, and that artists have a responsibility to work on behalf of the community. His images are at once aesthetically rich and powerfully articulate documentaries that allow the voices of the workers to be heard.

Date

24 September – 07 November 1999