Issue No. 15 | Labor Days

Make It Work

September is here, summer is almost over, and kids are starting school. It’s time to get back to work. Our latest issue explores many facets of labor, starting with Aliens of Extraordinary Ability, a digital series about a special immigrant work visa called the O-1, aka the “genius” visa. Also inside: a behind-the-scenes look at American horse racing and the people who live and labor at the track; a visit to a community of Hollywood retirees who write, direct, and produce content for their own TV channel; and interviews with undocumented people living in Atlanta, who risk deportation every time they commute to work.



Dolores Huerta: Surviving the Scourge of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a labor issue—one that the famed organizer and activist has been fighting for decades.

So You Wanna Work in America?

Find out if you have what it takes to get a US work visa, with a little help from our handy quiz.

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Without Coal

West Virginia used to run on coal. Now the communities that flourished around the mines have been left to fend for themselves.

The Home Stretch

At the Saratoga Race Course, every racehorse is carefully groomed, exercised, and trained for the winner’s circle by the workers who live on the backstretch.

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Risky Business: Working Without Papers in the ATL

What it’s like to find, keep, and commute to a job in one of the most anti-immigrant states in the country.

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Noodle School

Students flock to Lanzhou, China, to learn the secrets of hand-pulling lamian, but not everyone has the knack for noodles.

Labor Days Mixtape

Five short films about work that steps way outside the cubicle.

The Reality Stars and Russian Trolls of the Brand-New ‘Busytown’

The wholesome burg of Richard Scarry’s children’s books, with a twisted, 21st-century update.

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A Brief (and Very British) History of Workplace Bathrooms

You can learn a lot about a culture by looking at its toilets.

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A Colony of Aliens

Needing workers, but fearing change, is as American as apple pie.

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A Field Guide to NYC’s Working Stiffs

All the cabbies, couriers, and cops who make this crazy town run.

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Hollywood’s New Golden Age

The cast and crew at this LA retirement home are in their twilight years, but the show must go on.

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Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The famous O-1 visa is designed to reward those who have achieved profound professional success with the ability to live and work in the US. Do you have what it takes?

How to Get Visas and Influence People

The online immigration forums where foreign nationals learn how to make it to America.

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Night Shift

A portrait of New York after dark, where some people’s workdays start after the rest of us are sound asleep.

Off Topic

‘When I Say I’m Complicit, This Is What I Mean’

What happens when your job makes you an accomplice to the Trump administration’s war on immigrants and refugees.

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An Illustrated Treasury of Sex Clubs, Weird Huggers, and Other Work Nightmares

We asked the genius behind the workplace advice column Ask a Manager for her favorite letters.

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Off Topic

All in the Family

When the family business is sex toys, there may be some awkward moments. But that hasn’t stopped these sibling and parent teams from dominating the industry.

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Sex Toy Dynasty

Meet three families who make their living selling the kind of supplies you wouldn’t want to talk about at the dinner table.

Off Topic

The Real Cost of Working in the House of Mouse

How the world’s most famous theme park became a distinctly unmagical place to make a living.

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Off Topic

When Women Demanded Pay for Housework

The women of the Wages for Housework movement didn’t want to split the burden of housework with men—they wanted to get money for it.

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Off Topic

The BabyLand Diaries

Labor and childbirth are still mysteries to science, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to come up with our own explanations.

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About the Cover: Labor Days

An interview with the creator of Topic’s cinematic September cover art.

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