That chew the cane
That chewed it like people
That chew the cane
That chewed it before
The grinding of the mill
That chewed other people before them
João Cabral de Melo Neto in “O Rio – Encontro com a Usina”
fter providing services to technology multinationals operating in Brazil, I became familiar with the work ideology that governs their environments, in most cases, very far from the reality of the actual labor market. Based on keywords propagated by the principles and values of these companies, such as “goals” and “entrepreneurship”, I tried to record some verses inspired by experiences and conversations I had with those I met. Such poems were returned to the city traveling the streets of São Paulo on the back of a motoboy. Furthermore, with the intention of verifying a supposed balance in the relationships between employees and employers, propagated by such phrases as “Act like an owner”, “Be bold: building great things means taking risks” and “Every dollar is yours”, I pored over the spreadsheets of the annual growth reports of several companies, in contrast with the numbers of, also growing, unemployment in our country. The figures obtained were inserted into a frequency generator, where data enter on one side and a series of melodies comes out the other, thus creating the soundtrack for the video in question. Preserving the proper proportions and places of speech, I thought of the work songs when I heard the melancholic outcome of these compositions. But a contemporary song: without vocals, without the rhythm of the body and without the worker even. A song made by the machine and the coldness of the system. In Brazil, it is estimated that today, in 2022, there will be a number of 950.000 app drivers, 330.000 motoboys, 230.000 motorcycle taxi drivers and 55.000 delivery people using other transports. They are part of the nearly 13 million Brazilians employed by the private sector, but without a formal contract. This number has increased by more than 20% in the last year alone.