“A worker cooperative is a business that is owned and democratically governed by the people who work there. Historically, many worker cooperatives have emerged when an industry becomes incapable of serving the needs of its workers and participants.”
Cut to children frolicking on a playground at a Childspace Day Care Center, chaperoned by a member of the childcare cooperative.
That’s the opening sequence in “Capitalish,” a short film by four Haverford College students (Nick Gandolfo-Lucia, Sarah Moses, Anna Bullard and David Roza) and presented by Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance.
The film delves into day-to-day operations of four local cooperatives — Childspace, healthcare agency HomeCare Associates, bar and coffee shop W/N W/N (“Win Win”) and taxi dispatch service Alliance Taxi.
“Capitalish,” as you might have assumed from the title, explores how these four cooperatives are able to leverage the benefits of capitalist systems while simultaneously fighting the injustices those systems can cause.
“Philadelphia is becoming a hub of cooperative development,” said Craig Borowiak, a political science professor at Haverford, in the film. “The challenge is, ‘Can we take the momentum that comes from something like this and use it to build something that is institutionalized?'”
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