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October 03, 2007

Fashion Film Festival - Sweatshops in Focus


On the second weekend of October 2007 Fashion in Film Festival (London) will present a two-day event focusing on the troublesome issue of sweatshops. Don't miss this unique opportunity to see two poignant documentaries, plus some militant art, and participate in a panel discussion that will conclude the sessions. Link

Friday 12 October 2007, 8.00 pm

Knitoscope Testimonies video piece by Cat Mazza, 2006 (2,58 min)
No Sweat dir. Amie Williams, 2006 (54min)

Screening will be followed by a Q&A session with director Amie Williams

Knitoscope Testimonies is a computer-animated programme that translates the artist’s hand-knitted panels into moving images. The video focuses on labour movement, continuing Mazza’s involvement with anti-sweatshop activism. For more information on Cat Mazza’s projects visit www.microrevolt.org

No Sweat (dir. Amie Williams, 2006) takes us to Los Angeles, the largest and most dynamic area of garment production in North America. The film follows two self-proclaimed ethical labels American Apparel and SweatX T-shirt which have been widely recognised for providing fair working conditions in their factories. Founded by the entrepreneur Dov Charney and built from the ground up, American Apparel’s anti-sweatshop rhetoric broadcasts care and workers' benefits such as healthcare, paid leave, company-subsidised lunches, free English language classes and even on-site masseurs. Similarly, the T-shirt company SweatX, with a start-up capital of 2.5million US dollars funded by Ben & Jerry’s Ben Cohen, started with a determination to operate ethically. No Sweat takes us behind the scenes of these two ‘worker-friendly’ companies and unveils a different, much more distressing reality.

No Sweat, dir. Amie Williams,
USA 2006

Saturday 13 October 2007, 7.00 pm

China Blue, dir. Micha X. Peled, 2005 (86 min)
Panel discussion with
Mary Rayner (Ethical Consumer magazine)
Vic Thorpe (Just Solutions Network)
Martin Hearson (Labour behind the Label)
Tom Andrews (Epona Clothing)
Adam Thorpe and Joe Hunter (Vexed Design)
Lucy Siegle (Ethical Columnist at The Observer)
and more

Clandestinely shot, China Blue (dir. Micha X. Peled, 2005) follows the 17-year-old factory worker Jasmine and her friends through the meanders of a blue-jeans factory in China. Jasmine, who had to leave her home province for a job in the city, is soon bitterly disillusioned with the harsh working environment she encounters. Despite appallingly low wages, Jasmine and her fellow workers are constrained to work around the clock in order to meet the tight delivery schedules imposed on them by big orders from the West. Fined if found asleep and forbidden to strike, Jasmine and her friends need to find alternatives to their exhaustion in order to keep going. China Blue is a poignant testimony to the persistent inhumanity of the Chinese garment manufacture and a comment on the economic pressures applied by the global fashion industry.

China Blue, dir. Micha X. Peled, USA 2005

Booking Information

The Horse Hospital
Colonnade, Bloomsbury
London WC1N 1HX
Telephone: 020 7833 3644
E-mail: popculture@thehorsehospital.com

Posted by cat at 11:48 AM