- Hours: 2 days per week.
- Total pay: £26,325 pro rata.
- Initial fixed-term contract for duration of funding: 12 months.
- Start: Flexible, based on notice needed.
- Location: Remote working and use of our Sheffield (S2) office as required. The successful candidate can choose either of these options or to split their time between the two. (N.B. Our office is accessed by a narrow staircase and does not have an accessible toilet)
- Applications must be received by: Monday 13th November, 9am
Give Over is a project about border abolition, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and coordinated by Opus Independents.
We use theories and practices of abolition to explore how local media, including our publishing platform Now Then Magazine, can strategically initiate conversations with a focus on narrative change. This change can in turn be used to challenge racist and white supremacist narratives about immigration in the UK.
Beyond this, the project is seeking to put anti-racist individuals and groups into conversation with abolition as a liberatory principle and work to model, showcase, and demonstrate alternatives.
What do we mean by ‘abolition’?
- Abolition is a movement that urges us to dismantle and abolish institutions of state control, such as prisons, detention centres, police, borders, and the military.
- Abolition is a tool that connects various struggles by providing a lens through which to examine how state control manifests in a multitude of ways.
- Abolition examines not only material realities – such as the maintenance of borders via agents of the state, ports, passports and more – but also social and cultural realities. Abolition seeks to equip people to understand how the state encourages civilians to willingly enact state violence on fellow community members.
- Abolition helps us comprehend the role of surveillance and punishment in state power. Abolition looks to remake society in a revolutionary and liberatory manner that does not merely reform collapsing systems, but wholly remakes them.
What is this role?
Give Over currently uses a series of formats to disseminate ideas on border abolition, including articles presenting alternatives to mainstream media representations of immigration, workshops on theories and practice of abolition, interviews with artists, producing guidance for journalists writing on borders, and more. Give Over seeks to demonstrate the racism inherent in mainstream reporting of immigration, and to contribute to alternative approaches and visions that better capture the violence of borders via local journalism.
We’re looking for somebody who can contribute to this work with the task of demonstrating the fundamental principles behind border abolition to both organisations and the general public in a creative manner.
This could involve art/’artivism’ that encompasses creative expression of engagements with border abolition and reporting on immigration. Postholders would be encouraged to curate commissioned pieces of art and/or the curation of interactive exhibits on border abolition, dependent on the postholder’s own interests as an artist/activist. This could include research, interviews, photography, presentations or any other creative outlets.
The postholder should also be able to coordinate a team of people delivering work across this broad spectrum and holding that work to the spirit and principles of border abolition.
Please note: we do not expect you to design the role or end product entirely. Existing team members of Give Over have been working to build a framework, goals, and expectations for this work. If you’d like to hear more about this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know this is an ambitious project. Whilst abolitionist frameworks look to create entirely new systems, we understand that we must also bring power holders, policymakers and the public towards a conversation about border violence. This is why we are eager to have a postholder who recognises the value of anti-racist and abolitionist artistic expressions.
We recognise the emotional labour inherent in this work. We have wellbeing and peer support structures in place at Opus, which we continually aim to improve. This includes a dedicated Wellbeing Officer who will also assess any support and access needs and ensure appropriate measures are in place. We have also budgeted for external peer-to-peer support, where required.
The contract length for this post will be 12 months to reflect the funded range of the project.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
- To initiate and nurture conversations with institutions and members of the public about the principles and potential of abolitionist frameworks.
- To do this through a variety of means, from public arts events to commissioning and coordinating media that brings stakeholders together.
- To bridge communication between Opus projects and community organisations interested in Give Over to ensure we are meeting the needs of organisations on the ground.
- Working with the Independent Media Association to equip their members to engage with this work and reframe their members’ writing and reporting on migration.
Essential Skills & Experience
- Previous outreach and/or political activism work – this could include artivism, campaigns, education etc.
- Awareness and understanding of abolitionist politics, as well as wider social, economic and political issues around border abolition in particular.
- Commitment to social justice and anti-racist principles.
- Understanding the principle of ‘meeting people where they are’ and overcoming barriers to participation.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Good interpersonal skills, ability to work as part of a team and with multiple external stakeholders and partners.
- Good knowledge of standard software and IT functions, such as email and Google Docs/Sheets.
Desirable Skills & Experience
- Understanding of the intersecting challenges faced by refugees and the ‘hostile environment’.
- Understanding of the complex entanglement of systemic problems which impacts this work, for example climate change and colonialism.
- Knowledge of and familiarity with the institutions working in this space in Sheffield and/or South Yorkshire.
- Experience of workplace apps such as Slack.
We do not require applicants to hold formal qualifications – relevant work and life experience is acceptable when referring to the essential and desirable skills and experience listed above.
For any queries about the role before applying, please contact email@example.com.
Please send a copy of your CV and a statement or short video outlining why you are well suited to this role to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on Monday 13th November (Maximum 400 words written or 2 minutes of recorded audio or video).
In recognition of the inaccessibility of a lot of jobs and education, we will guarantee an interview to any disabled candidate who meets the minimum criteria for the job. Please mention this directly in your application if it applies to you, because any other equal opportunities information you provide to us is kept separately to your application.
Opus works to contribute upstream solutions to complex system problems. We do this through strategic partnerships, engaging arts and culture, research, identifying leverage points, and co-creation. We incubate and deploy services, projects, platforms, decentralised networks and movements proportionate to the challenges ahead.
Opus is multidisciplinary, cross-sector and adaptive, working across hyper-local, regional, national and international contexts. We work with citizens, communities, neighbourhoods, business, voluntary groups, cities, campaigns, research institutions, infrastructure organisations and governments to address the entangled ecological, social, economic, political and cultural crisis we collectively face.
We recognise that this is a long-term and systemic approach to social change. There are no easy fixes and few quick wins, so we spend our time and energy creating the space – whether that’s a platform, a network or something else – for new ideas to emerge and develop.
Opus reaches more than 150,000 people a year through live events, broadcasting and publishing in Sheffield and beyond.
The rate of pay at Opus is currently £13.50 per hour. This equates to a pro rata salary of £26,325. This is what all Opus employees are currently paid, including the company’s Directors.
As a worker-controlled company, everyone gets a say on when and by how much we increase our hourly rate. Whenever we increase wages, we do so for everyone who works at the company.
We have made the collective decision to increase wages three times in the last 18 months and will return to the issue again soon.
Diversity & Equal Opportunities
Diversity in our workforce is a priority for Opus. As well as the clear moral imperative of properly reflecting our city’s make-up, diversity in our team improves how we work, how we ‘frame’ problems and their possible solutions, and how we interact with stakeholders and audiences.
We particularly encourage applications from groups that are under-represented. This includes but is not limited to people of global majority descent (i.e. people of African, Asian, Indigenous, Latin American, Middle Eastern/Arab, Polynesian/Pacific Islander, or Mixed-Race heritage), disabled people, those who identify as LGBTQI+ and individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.
Please complete our Equality & Diversity Monitoring Form.