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On the Ethical Turn in Fashion and Textiles

Elke Gaugele

A new paradigm of cloth has to be defined: The Ethical Turn in Fashion and Textiles. Taking a postcolonial feminist analysis on human right cultures - as outlined by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak - as a point of departure my talk will trace the disciplinary, riving, and hierarchizing aspects of the contemporary “ethical regime of cloth”. Three strands of its politics will be discussed: (1) The Western commodification of trust and honesty after the global financial crisis (2007 ? 08) and its modes of Othering (2) The UN’s shift from blue helmets to ethical fashion and textile handicraft as a political tool for governance and development policy in Africa by teaming up with the luxury industry and (3) The adaption of social critique as a new “Spirit of Capitalism”.

Mon, 27 Jan 14 0

Carole Frances Lung’s Sewing Rebellion: resisting the global apparel industry, one stitch at a time

Lisa Vinebaum

This paper explores the work of artist, activist and garment worker Carole Frances Lung. Based in Los Angeles - the center of American apparel manufacturing today with over 120,000 garment workers - Lung’s participatory sewing projects provide participants with sewing skills and knowledge in an effort to provide an alternative to the abusive practices of the global garment industry. Lung’s work seeks to reclaim and revalorize domestic sewing skills, and as such they are also firmly rooted in histories of collective organizing and subversive stitching in the suffragette, labor, and feminist movements. Focusing on Lung’s sewing projects and performances, this paper explores collective sewing as a tool for empowerment and radical social change, and examines contemporary, public and participatory mobilization of subversive stitching by artists of all genders.

Mon, 27 Jan 14 0

The Sleeping Bag Project

Claire Barber and Rowan Bailey

The Sleeping Bag Project is an initiative at the University of Huddersfield that actively seeks to engage volunteers in an empathic politics through the ethics of care. The Project, based in Bradford, involves collaborative making by salvaging discarded sleeping bags from music festivals, laundering them, investing them with textile embellishments and then gifting them to the homeless. By recharging these sleeping bags with a new purpose these modest material interventions are geographical displacements where aesthetic and political considerations overlap, resulting in the convergence of philosophies of practice and pedagogical ambitions.

Mon, 27 Jan 14 0

El Craftivismo: Craftivism in the Non-English Speaking World

Betsy Greer

As the title suggests, this presentation will cover craftivist acts in parts of the world that do not natively speak English. When I first started writing about craftivism in 2003, I did so to expose the work that people were making in the intersection between craft and activism without media attention. The quiet work that people were doing in their own communities to foment change both enlivened and emboldened me. It also had me ask myself, what is more important, the work itself or the reaction it brings? Betsy Greer is a writer, maker, and researcher who received her MA in Sociology from Goldsmiths in 2004. Her first book, Knitting for Good!, was published by Roost Books in 2008 and a craftivism anthology, Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism, featuring 33 craftivist voices, will be published by Arsenal Pulp Press in spring 2014. She lives in the Washington DC Metro area with a fluffy cat named Bobbin and more craft supplies than should be allowed.

Mon, 27 Jan 14 0

From Craftivism to Craftwashing: consuming and co-opting the politics of craft

Nicole Burisch, Anthea Black

Craft has frequently been positioned as both a fix and foil for the ills of capitalism and alienating conditions of industrialization. The last decade is no exception, as a recent resurgence of hand-making has been dubbed by some as a “craft revolution”. However, this fascination with all things handmade places emphasis on a romanticized notion of crafting (and often textiles in particular) as simple, fulfilling, and politically significant work. These assumptions about the status of craft operate in what is often a false opposition to mass production, consumer culture, and an increasingly technologized world.

Mon, 27 Jan 14 0