free archaeology: institutionalised exploitation in the museum sector

Following on from my post on the precarisation of cultural heritage work, I want to look in detail at what seems like institutionalised exploitation of unpaid interns at the Victoria and Albert Museum (and another unnamed museum); and to highlight resources, movements and opportunities for positive social change.

[Now cross-posted on (un)free archaeology.]


5 Responses to “free archaeology: institutionalised exploitation in the museum sector”

  1. Some very negative insights into the internship/volunteer culture here, Sam, and I think it’s so important that they’re aired. I’m sure there’s a whole plethora of positive anecdotes about unpaid internships and apprenticeships out there, but that doesn’t mean the negative ones should be ignored. I must say that the more I learn about the nature cultural heritage sector, the more I realise I really and honestly cannot be arsed with it.

    • There certainly are positive experiences of unpaid internship, but (at least in terms of future jobs) they’re exceptions to the norm (though you wouldn’t know it from much of the conversation around it). And obviously even the negative experiences are small-scale compared to the non-experiences of people who don’t even get the chance to play the lottery in the first place. I’m happy for the (least un)lucky few who make it, but they are few and the system is screwed.


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