As well as campaigning work since the Rana Plaza collapse, many people have felt that they wanted to respond to the tragedy through the medium of art. Textile artist Alke Schmidt recently produced an exhibition ‘Tangled Yarns’ at theWilliam Morris Gallery in London. Tangled Yarns looks at the history of textiles and the human costs involved, from the early days of the industrial revolution and the Lancashire Cotton Mills, right up to its modern role in Asia. Each work examines a different episode in the industry’s complex and often brutal history, combining found fabrics with painting, stitch or print. In one work, each of the victims of Rana Plaza is represented by a sewing pin in a piece of fabric. The exhibition is open until January 25th and is free to enter.
Animator and artist Suzy Vickery also produced this fantastic video animation for the song ‘Shopping Bags‘ by the Australian duo The Worthy Skirmishes. You can download the song athttp://worthyskirmishes.bandcamp.com/track/shopping-bags with all the proceeds going to Labour Behind the Label. “Shopping Bags is our creative response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza building,” say the Worthy Skirmishes. “In the song we attempt to deal with the sense of responsibility and guilt we felt upon hearing about the tragedy. We aim to inspire reflection on our own roles as consumers in the global supply chain.”
Documentary makers The Rainbow Collective have also made Tears in the Fabric, a thirty-minute film about Rana Plaza. Rainbow Collective worked with Bangladeshi Union the National Garment Workers Federation to make the film, which focuses on the survivors, a year after that event. You can watch the full-length film or just the trailer here. For upcoming showings please see their news and events page.
Ursula Wills Jones