Symphony of Progress

by Nicoleta Esinencu, Artiom Zavadovsky, Doriana Talmazan, Kira Semionov, Nora Dorogan, Oana Cîrpanu
Translated by Artiom Zavadovsky

The Symphony of Progress is performed by the power tools, which were reconfigured by Yulian and Neonil. Both study at the Technical University Of Moldova and work for foreign companies. They are very much looking forward to finding a job abroad.


Are you not essential?
Are you not productive?
Are you not enough?
Are you not efficient?
Have you lost your job?
Do you perform the work that you hate?
No money to pay the bills?
Do you have debts?
Bank loans?
Do you live from salary to salary?
Has your rent doubled?
Have you been evicted by the landlord?
Do you work from home, but you don’t have a home?
Did you get sick?
No insurance?

Natural healing with 432Hz. The harmonic frequency of nature. Playing music at 432Hz makes the body and the organic world around it resonate in a natural way.

The frequency of happiness. The music that releases serotonin, dopamine and endorphin.

The vibration of sounds orders everything around.
They fight chaos in all its forms.

Totally relax your mind and body.
Tune your rhythm to our planet’s heartbeat.


It’s civilised to have a family:
monogamous one
It’s civilised to go to the theater, isn’t it?
To see a show about class struggle
To speak English
English is the mother of civilisation
The father of civilisation

To have a car
for you
and your family
I mean, two cars
or three
As of now, electric ones
because you’re kind of environmentally friendly
Sounds civilised, doesn’t it?
As long as the lithium is extracted from the colonies, pardon me, the former colonies,
it’s not our problem, is it?

When civilised,
you are white,
and you take the lead
wherever you set foot on

It’s civilised to civilise countries
to decide that the countries owe you
to live at their expense
collecting debts every year

When civilised, you give soap to the poor
even if they don’t have access to water

Civilised means to have private property
to have a free market just like the free chicken

we have chickens for 5 euros
but we also have free chickens for 20 euros

It's civilised to eat strawberries,
but it’s not civilised to pick strawberries

Travelling is something very civilised
Working in another country
as a migrant
is less civilised

If you’re a German, you can go during the pandemic
to dance civilised in Mallorca

It’s civilised to donate to church
to do fundraising
and ban begging in civilised European capitals

Civilised is when you trample eachother queuing up at Black Friday
not when you queue up to get the only hot meal for free

Not paying for the tram ride is uncivilised
building the city like a ghetto is civilised
a city where urban transport doesn’t reach the suburbs
where women are afraid to walk the streets

Privatising the healthcare system is more civilised
than having access to a public healthcare system

public is a communist thing
communist is by definition uncivilised

It’s not civilised not to recycle
but to export your garbage for recycling in another country is civilised, isn’t it?

from Germany to Romania is ok, isn’t it?
or to Poland
It’s okay, isn’t it?
There’s the European Union as well
but a little less European than Europe
Why don't we send our garbage to them
so it doesn’t stink here?

it is civilised to be from the west
and teach civilisation those from the east

calling yourself Kaufland and annihilating by expansion the small local entrepreneurs
is civilised
stealing a yogurt from Kaufland is uncivilised

It’s civilised when you steal from me
and it’s not civilised when I steal from you

It’s uncivilised to destroy the windows of luxury stores or banks
to throw stones
Because the police protect you when they crush your head
against asphalt holding their knee until you suffocate

So, we carry out protests in a civilised manner
we do not enter the government building’s lawn with a tractor
because we destroy the lawn
and that is more than uncivilised
it’s violent
it’s barbarian

Throwing away food from the restaurant or supermarket daily
is not violent, is it?

Not having pockets on your work uniform so you can't get tips
is not violent, is it?

Taking your water,
bottling and selling it to you
is not violent, is it?

Producing yogurt with less fruit for the east
and saying that the east has a “different taste”
is not violent, is it?

Destroying the student canteen and placing a restaurant instead
is not violent, is it?
A project funded by Sweden, UK and USAID in Eastern Europe
is not violent, is it?

Evicting people from their homes
to build apartment buildings
is not violent, is it?

Squatting a house is violent
Sleeping on the street is not violent, is it?

When the bank tells you happy birthday because you owe them
and after they’ve taken your home, they still tell you happy birthday
is not violent, is it?

It’s violent to cross the border illegally,
selecting who can enter your country is not violent, is it?

Permission only for skilled and highly qualified foreign workers whose employment is necessary from an economic perspective

It’s not violent to live from your privileges, is it?


I’ve been working as a freelance interpreter for 11 years.
When the pandemic started and the lockdown was introduced, I realised that if I didn't do something, I would starve to death.
I am divorced and have a 13-year-old daughter. I had to look for a summer job.
I initially thought of going to the Netherlands or Germany.
But because my last beautiful trip was to Finland and I really liked the country, I read Finland’s labour legislation and it seemed to me a country with good working conditions and a better pay.
I thought it would be okay to look for a seasonal job there.

I found an article which said that the Finnish farmers were in a very critical situation. Until then, workers from Asian countries had picked their harvest from the fields. Then they were banned from travelling.
The produce in the European fields was spoiling because there were no workers to pick them. Because the citizens of Finland, the Netherlands, and Germany don’t feel like doing this work.

I mean, they think this job, let's say, is too hard, and they always appeal to foreigners.

I googled it:
Seasonal farm work in Finland.
I got a list of about 14 farms.
I sent an email to all 14 of them,
saying that I’m a Moldovan with an EU ID,
the Romanian passport, and that I wanted to come and work for them.

The first farm answered me: yes, you are more than welcome.
We’re sending you the contract tomorrow.

The contract was one page long.
It seemed very simplistic to me, but having friends in Finland,
I showed them the contract and asked them to tell me
if it was in accordance with their legislation, if everything was ok.
Both friends answered me the same:
a Finn would never work in such conditions under any circumstances.
However, it’s still in accordance with the law.

The bottom line of the legislation.
It cannot be worse than that.
I only signed the contract after they’d confirmed to me:
Yes, it's ok.

I bought a bus ticket. I left by bus…
It was complicated flying there. I found a company that transported pakages,
but it also transported passengers.
In 2 days, I was in Finland.


In your normal day-to-day life
she really takes care of everything

Upper middle class

You don’t know where to take the garbage

Upper middle class

You don’t know if mustard and pickles are kept in the fridge

Upper middle class

One day you loaded the washing machine by yourself

Upper middle class

Your lockdown was very creative
You learned a lot of new things
The housekeeper gave you instructions over the phone how to wash the bathtub

Upper middle class

Upper middle class
Performing housekeepers

Sorry not sorry

Upper middle class
Performing fathers

Sorry not sorry

Upper middle class
Performing rich when you are only upper middle class
Sorry not sorry


Performing empathy
By offering us to serve you


We were 6 women living in a two-roomed apartment with a kitchen and a shower.

For the room, I paid the farm owner 7 euros a day.
Later, I found out that we had been paying her 3 times higher than the landlord asked for.

The other 16 women lived on the farm.
They lived in a kind of... a bunker that had small rooms of 3 square meters.
There were 4 beds in each room.
Sixteen people had only one shower and toilet at their disposal.

We’d wake up at 6 a.m. 
There were days when I wouldn’t feel my arms or back.
In the morning, my coworkers would take painkillers to resist until the night.

So, we’d wake up at 6 a.m. and be in the field at 7 a.m.

In the field, there was a large tractor with a kind of wings.
The wings had 15 beds on which we lay on our stomachs and picked cucumbers while the tractor was moving. The tractor wouldn’t stop for 2-3 hours straight.
Once a woman couldn't resist and simply eased herself in the middle of the field. They cut her working hours because she stopped the tractor for more than 30 seconds.

It was a family business.
There were no Finnish employees.
It was I from Moldova, a woman from Belarus, and the rest of the women were from Ukraine.
Our supervisor was a hippie guy from the UK who got stuck in Finland due to the pandemic.
He supervised us.
We picked the harvest by hand and he drove the tractor right behind us, so we wouldn’t stop or rest.
I mean, he was kind of, you know how sheep are handled? That was his job in the field.

In the afternoon, we’d pick and clean onions or garlic, or zucchinis, depending on the order from the supermarkets.
Today we have a very large order of garlic. You will stay in the field until you have collected all 300 kg. I don't care if the garlic in the field runs out.

We worked in the rain with our hands wet for 12 hours straight.
We asked for at least a 15-minute break to eat, because we were exhausted.
With your hands bleeding, you cut and cut, and cut those garlic tails… You cut and you cut, and you cut...

For the produce to keep fresh, we had to work in the refrigerator.
From +28-degrees, we would enter the fridge at +4-degrees.
I dealt with packaging. I’d combine 3 garlic bulbs of the same size because, you know, everything there must be by the book.

The working day would end when we picked everything to fulfill the supermarkets’ order.
A good day would end at 6 p.m.
A bad day would end at 11 p.m.

According to the contract, we were supposed to have a day off after every 35 hours of work.
There was no such thing on the farm.
The order from the supermarket would come on Sunday morning.
They needed new merchandise for Monday.
On Sundays, we’d get up at 6 a.m., work until 8 p.m. and again from Monday on – on the field.


Imagine living a richer
happier life
stop sweating talking about trouble
and your worries will evaporate

you can overcome your worry if you always keep yourself busy

don't be tense
work 16 hours a day

your financial success depends on you and on

Anti-cramp vitamins
Bien Dormir
Zen Forte
Day and night
for women
Liver support
for men

Sorry, non-binary people, the pharmaceutical companies do not sell yet these products for you. But it’s on their agenda.

The market is busy now selling vegan chicken to vegan people
vegan steak
vegan salmon
vegan American ribs
vegan double burger
vegan marbled steak
and other beans they call meat because you buy it

but don’t worry
non-binary liver detox
is coming soon!

increased sales and reduced losses
that’s the solution
your financial success depends on you and on

your strong hands
your straight back
the oxygen saturation in your blood
muscle mass protein
size of your thyroid gland
cirrhosis in your liver

► Subscribe to my channel “Good Vibes Only” and stay up to date with the latest tunes.

end your worries
start working now


While working under the tractor I noticed two surveillance cameras.
I asked: why are we filmed while working?
And my boss says, "What's the matter?" What bothers you? Do you have something to hide?

One day they came to photograph us for the advertising of their products on the website.
They were photographing us while we were working.
We all were tired, sweaty, full of dust and they... you know, like monkeys in the circus: Smile, smile!
Make it look like you're happy! Smile, smile!

I translated the European General Data Protection Regulation for the Republic of Moldova.
There it’s written in black and white: All the collection of personal data, including video and photo must be done with the person's consent.
I referred them to this European document and said, “I know that Finland is a signatory to this act, too”.
To which my boss replied, “Who are you? How do you know all this? How did you generally get here?”
Once again, I referred her to the contract and to the Finnish legislation. What do you think I was doing prior to going to bed every night? I was looking for legislation regarding overtime and seasonal workers’ pay.

I’d text her via WhatsApp in order to save screenshots and collect proof.

Hi! I am sorry to bother you, but I have just 2 questions related to our working hours and payment.
  1. About cucumbers: If I understood it correctly, the payment is per hour while only the tractor working hours are counted. But what about all the very heavy boxes we carried after the tractor was stopped? Isn’t it also counted as work?

  2. I checked it with the girls: on the seventh we have six hours, not three hours and twenty minutes

I am sorry to bother you…
I am sorry to bother you…
I am sorry to bother you…



Not happy enough when working for me

Not happy enough when delivering me food
to the 6th floor
without elevator

Not happy enough when washing tons of plates a day?


Not happy enough when washing their underwear and socks?


Not happy enough when cutting and painting kilometers of fingernails a day?


Not happy enough when changing tens of diapers a day?


Not happy enough when doing animation dressed as a fast food chain mascot in 40+ degrees?


Not happy enough when collecting the vomit from the couch after their weekend parties?


Be happy to bother them
Destroy their Chirstmas party
Enjoy Killjoy


One day my boss summoned me and said, “Corina, I want all my workers to be happy. Do you feel fulfilled on our farm?
Look, everyone is working and everything is fine. Only you are unhappy. Maybe the problem is in you?! Maybe you should quit this job?”

I searched on the internet and found several NGOs in Finland that dealt with the rights of seasonal workers. I wrote them via any means I could.
Someone wrote me that I could go to the police

I called the police. They told me, “We can only intervene if the farmer took your passport”. Meaning, in situations that are more serious.
Then, I wrote to the prime minister’s office.

This mail is a cry for help and a letter of disappointment from me, an EU citizen who came to work at a farm in the South of Finland as a seasonal worker. At this farm, we are treated badly and there is no respect for human rights. In my country, I used to work in the Parliament, so I am familiar with EU legislation, GDPR and human rights. I chose Finland for seasonal work because I was sure it was a country of great people, respecting other people, but I found an unbelievable situation here… All my complaints to our boss have zero effect. She just tells us that everything is conducted according to the Finnish Collective Agricultural Agreement and if we don’t like it, we should just pack our bags and leave.

The next day I received an answer signed by the prime minister’s secretary.

Dear Corina,
Exploitation of labour is under no circumstances allowed in Finland and the Government is currently developing new measures to tackle exploitation of foreigners in the Finnish labour market.

The next day my boss gave me an ultimatum to leave the farm in 24 hours.

The employee is being dismissed because of work and behaviour-related issues. She has been several times notified about her performance on cucumber and zucchini fields.
The employer gave her many opportunities to improve and tried to talk to her about her motivation problems.
She is constantly disturbing the work of other people. Last time, on the fifteenth of August twenty-twenty, with a strong loud voice, she shouted and argued on the zucchini field…
During the following days, she approached a representative of the company by presenting her complaints in an inappropriate way and caused a credibility gap between the employee and the employer.
She doesn’t represent the company in a loyal manner. She spreads a bad image of the farm, negatively affecting the overall working environment and disturbing other workers.
Unfortunately, the employer doesn’t see potential for cooperation with her as a seasonal worker and dismisses her from the farm.


we’ll count from 5 to 1
and when we reach 1, your anger will disappear
it's time to deal with anger in a healthy and productive way
it's okay to be angry
notice this feeling, but do not react
imagine a beautiful place
where you like to be
let's say
Western Europe
colonised by Eastern Europe

direct your attention back to how you feel
where is the anger stored in your body?

notice the feeling of anger that is flooding you
Western Europe
a colony of Eastern Europe
you may feel angry, but calm and controlled at the same time
some persons’ shoulders get tense when they feel angry
others have their fists or jaw clenched

and now
let’s go back to that beautiful place we have been in
Western Europe
a colony of Eastern Europe

we’ll steal the forests
we’ll steal the gold
we’ll take the lands

we are in a field
we’re listening to the sound of rain
nature is calming us down
it’s giving us a feeling of well-being

so we're in the field

actually no

you are in the field

we’re staying home because it’s raining

and you’re harvesting potatoes for us

and beets

and peas


face anger through relaxation

anger can come and go

you can manage it

let the anger breathe deeply and leave with each exhale




the Germans pick asparagus and work in slaughterhouses

the Belgians pick our apples

the Finns harvest our cucumbers

the Brits pick our strawberries

the Italians take care of our old women

the Austrians clean our homes

the French build us houses

the Spaniards milk our cows

the Norwegians sew clothes for Balti and Bangladesh

and now

look around

How do you feel?

Are you grateful?


You work until you get sick

you lick your wounds

until they form a crust

which breaks

and you start over again

you lick your wounds

until they form a crust

which cracks again

you’ll have the Italy syndrome

like your mother

the illness in the women from the east who work in the west

the syndrome Italy

the derangement Germany

the disorder Finland

the crisis France

the anxiety UK

the depression Europe

Berlin malls are built from kidney stones

the supermarket cucumbers grow in the bladder gravel

the western slaughterhouses are washed with feverish perspiration

the walls/bridges/highways are built from dental fillings

the packages are delivered from the hip prostheses

the water is bottled from the spilled blood

the cleaning is done from exhaustion

children and the elderly are cared for from deep depressions

the cranes of progress rise from multiple anxieties