THE PRICE OF OUR CLOTHES, 2015-ongoing
A Collaboration with writer Alison Morse
The Price Of Our Clothes seeks to unfold the ways Americans are tied to the Triangle Shirtwaist garment factory fire of 1911 in Manhattan and the collapse of Rana Plaza garment factories in Bangladesh in 2013. It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of these two garment industry tragedies and our relationship to them. They are not separate stories but inextricably linked realities that expose the unjust ways garment workers are treated. This project is a collaboration with writer Alison Morse. Together, we are developing visual, text-based, and sound pieces to examine these connections.
To initiate the project, Alison and I went on a trip to Bangladesh to gather research and discover the conditions and culture surrounding the Garment Industry in Bangladesh. The Price Of Our Clothes research lives on our blog of the same title. It is through this social platform that we sought to document our path through the region and share the stories of people we encountered on the way.
Our research trip was supported by Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council.
The development of our artistic work is supported by The Howard B. & Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment Fund
Our Blog, The Price of Our Clothes
"By our third trip to Savar, many sights on the roadsides have become familiar: particular market stalls, smokestack-shaped brick kilns encircled by falcons, rice paddies, black and white skylarks (the national bird of Bangladesh) perched on electrical wires – and the garment factory scrap site, an area downhill from the road filled with huge white canvas bags stuffed with multicolored bits of fabric. The scraps are leftovers from the thousands of surrounding garment factories. They spill out in multicolored heaps, bleed into the nearby river and overtake the surrounding land. This morning, we stop at the site. Women are crouching in the scrap piles and sorting through the material. They’re paid roughly ten cents an hour – about one dollar a day – to sift and sort, by color and size, the fabric remnants of our clothes before the scraps are sold off as mattress and pillow stuffing."
- text from our blog The Price of Our Clothes
"A Haunting Artistic Tribute to Garment Workers Killed in Bangladesh and the US," by Sheila Regan, Hyperallergic, April 9, 2018.
"What are your clothes worth? Two Minnesota artists seek to explore the high cost of cheap clothing," by Molly Priesmeyer, Star Tribune, April 27, 2015.