PRECARIOT is a self-portrait of the artist Massa Lemu as a continental drifter in perpetual precarity.
The Precariat is a term that combines the word “proletariat” with “precarious” to describe an emerging “barbarian” class of migrant laborers and professionals living and working precariously, holding temporary underpaid jobs, lacking a political voice and increasingly frustrated by their living and working conditions. Attracted by its revolutionary aspects, Massa Lemu embraces the label and adopts it as his title. For Lemu, a Malawian writer and artist currently based in Houston, the old patriot was proud of, and ready to die for fatherland, the “precariot” however is one whose only possession is the unstable and indeterminate terrain of precarity, staking claims and maneuvering in this uncertain landscape. In the age of heightened mobility, PRECARIOT focuses on processes of inspection and scrutiny, labeling and branding to highlight the realities of migration.