Wage Slaves


By Daria Bogdańska, translated by Aleksander Linskog (Centrala)
ISBN: 978-1-912278-06-0 (TPB)

It’s rare to see an international indie comic that combines personal revelation and intimate expression with hard-hitting reportage, so massive kudos to relative newcomer Daria Bogdańska who documented her eventful life thus far with uncompromising veracity while becoming a successful social activist battling corruption, authoritarian ennui and exploitation of immigrants in real life as well as this powerful and joyous paperback tome.

Having left her abusive home in Poland at 15, Daria travels across Europe, supporting herself with a succession of “under-the-table” and “off-the-books” jobs of varying legality and daily uncertainty, until she applies for and wins a place on a college course in Sweden.

After arriving in Malmö and hooking up with old friends, she finds accommodation of a tenuous nature, but, like so many others, has to work to pay for her studies. Being a temporary resident, she has no social security number and finds herself in the crushing trap of being unable to secure steady or even legal employment…

While constantly navigating the minefield of Sweden (Hell, any nation’s) Catch 22-based social security system, she finds casual work as a waitress and dogsbody for a chain of bars and curry houses run by an immigrant turned local bigwig…

As the year progresses, she notices things are pretty hinky even by the standards of the illicit economies she’s been exposed to in the past. At one point, the hard-working, occasionally partying student realises she’s supported herself for six years all over the world and never once had legitimate employment…

A little research reveals the nature and level of exploitation her non-white co-workers are enduring in pursuit of the Swedish equivalent of a Green Card, and something snaps. Daria decides something has to be done and boldly risks everything by joining a union…

Brutally frank, charmingly earnest and carrying a potent punch of virtue triumphant, Wage Slaves is a subtly engaging peek at the life too many youngsters have to endure, and one you should refresh your own comfortably numb social conscience with.
© Daria Bogdańska & Centrala. All rights reserved.