Musicians, artists…

Do you know who made your guitar?

As musicians, artists, makers, and cultural activists – we believe that the people who make our instruments, who make art and music possible, should be able to work without fear, without harassment, without discrimination  — in short, that they be treated like human beings.

Over decades, the Cort and Cort-tek workers in Korea have made Fender, Squier, Gibson, G&L Tribute, Ibanez, ESP, Lakeland, Avalon, Alvarez, and Parkwood guitars under conditions that would horrify anyone. And as Jack Westheimer himself, one of the investors in Cort, stated, Waiters in Korea make more than the Cort guitar workers.  So they unionized – only to be locked out of the factory in 2006 when the company shifted all of its production to China and Indonesia.

In protest against this cruel and sudden mass firing, the workers have raised their voices for more than 1000 days of struggle, and we lift our voices with them, in whatever way we know how: by making our music, by lifting our brushes, by making videos, and telling the workers’ story to the world.

Just as music and art is a global language that crosses borders and boundaries, so is the belief in justice for the workers who make the music possible. So we take action and we ask you to join us – because a world in which workers are denied their rights and livelihoods is not the world in which we can make music.

If you are an artist, musician, cultural activist, work in media, or otherwise interested in supporting in the creative actions taking place in LA/ Anaheim during NAMM Show 2010 (January 8- 17), please contact: cortguitar.action@gmail.com.

You don’t need to be professional noisemaker to make noise and music with us.

The video below shows how South Korean musicians have supported the Cort workers- especially since for many, both in Korea and globally, the Cort workers made their first guitar.

Musicians and cultural activists in South Korea have supported the Cort workers by holding a monthly concert in Hongdae, holding one-man protests, and putting together summer rock festivals to publicize their struggle for reinstatement.

Monthly concerts (last Wednesdays) at Club Bbang in Hongdae, Seoul.

In sun, wind and cold, musicians and supporters have held one-person protests in public spaces in Seoul.

In Frankfurt at MUSIKMESSE 2009, a musician performing in support of the Cort worker actions.

A singing group in Tokyo performs at a street action outside of Koenji station, November 2009.

Artists at the CREAM International Festival for Arts and Media 2009, Yokohama, listen to and later help the Cort/Cor-tek workers to put on a performance with a Cort guitar. See the video log below for the video of the performance.

Musicians, the Happenings Band, in Yokohama, Japan

In Tokyo and Yokohama, musicians and artists held street concerts and noise parades, made posters and held performances for the public – including in front of Yokohama’s Pacifico convention center, where the Yokohama Music Fair 2009 was held.

In solidarity with fired Kawai workers in front of Kawai headquarters, Harajuku, Tokyo.

We want to work!

Woodcut art showing Cort/Cor-tek worker by Yoon Yeop. The text says, “We want to work!”

NO CORT Poster graphic, designed by Japanese artist and activist during the week of actions in Tokyo and Yokohama. Download the full-scale version or sticker version at: http://neodadakko.blogspot.com/2009/11/no-cort.html


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