Sonia Uddin

Although some time ago now, I worked for Tate Enterprises for quite a few years, it got me through art school as a part time job. When I left they said I was their first hire. I’m guessing they meant for the bookshop...


I found this old copy of an Architectural Weekly a colleague kept for me. It pictures me working behind the till at the Tate Modern shop.

Whilst I was there, colleagues organised and we unionised for the first time and won a small pay rise. I still remember this success but you could see the direction Tate was going in.


I’m writing this now in solidarity with the 313 staff facing redundancy. During a global pandemic, in a time of uncertainty Tate has chosen not to use its government bailout of £7 million to keep these staff employed, deciding to let go of some of their lowest paid and key workers. A friend who has worked there for 15 years will lose his job.


There’s a hierarchy built into the design—whether the architecture or the art world, you’re separated by spaces, precarious contracts, uniforms and pay. I expect from who they see as most deserving to be part of it.


I know that colleagues selling books and magazines went on to create, write and appear in them, something I think the directors have little interest in, like artists are grown somewhere far away from here.


This has become a long post as there is a lot of history. Power to all the workers having to fight for their jobs at Tate and many spaces beyond! 


— artist & filmmaker Sonia Uddin (@camdenstudios)