Geographies of Material Culture: public module archive launched!

We have some exciting news. We’ve just posted this thread on @followthethings twitter. Here it is again with added whole films and/or trailers.

1/ Hello public archive!

If you’re teaching ‘who made my stuff?’ or if you want to find out more yourself, here’s our Geographies of Material Culture module archive. This is the module behind our website, fresh for 2020-21. 10 epic films. 10 epic http://followthethings.com pages.

Click the cats to get there.

2/ CEO Ian’s intro to the module archive

Watch as ‘CEO’ Ian explains how the module and the website work together. You watch a film, read its followthethings.com page detailing conversation about its making, discussion & impacts. Then name & connect the patterns that emerge week to week.

Click Ian’s shirt to get there.

3/ Students’ preview of the module

Then, there’s the student preview. How do you explain a module like this, how it works, how a pandemic combo of asynchronous & synchronous online learning will unfold, how Zoom breakouts will be fun, what the coursework is?

Click the screengrab to get there.

4/ Intro | Handprint

We start with Handprint, a super-short fashion film. A woman gets dressed in a hotel room. As she puts her clothes on, hands appear & help her. As she checks herself in the mirror, she sees in her reflection the people who made them for her. Gulp.

Here’s the module page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1um3KglDAs

5/ Commodity Fetishism | 30th Anniversary ‘Just Do It’ ad

Next it’s Colin Kaepernick’s 30th anniversary Nike “Just Do it” ad. This commodity fetishism is wokewashed. Some burn their socks cos they don’t like Kaep’s politics. Some ask if Black LIves Matter along supply chains too. Stirring worked for Nike.

Here’s the module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-2-commodity-fetishism/

6/ Labour | Maquilapolis

Next we’re in Tijuana, with our first proper doc: Maquilapolis. Made with & by factory workers making TVs, bags, etc. documenting their lives, communities, struggles & victories against corporations that bring jobs, danger & poverty to their town.

Here’s the module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-3-labour/

7/ Empathy | Jamelia: whose hair is it anyway?

What happens when a celeb in the #GlobalNorth meets someone in the #GlobalSouth who made their things? What if it’s hair worn on UK TV that’s cut from the head of a woman in India? An empathetic connection? Watch ‘Jamelia: whose hair is it anyway?’

Here’s the module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-4-empathy/

8/ Responsibility | The True Cost

Next, we ask what if you talk to people working in different parts of a supply chain? Factory workers. Owners. Cotton farmers. Clothing designers. Clothing company execs. Environmental activists. Where do responsibilities lie? We watch The True Cost.

Here’s the module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-5-responsibility/

9/ Class action | Bananas!*

Next we ask if any of these supply chain relations are illegal? What if a US corporation used banned pesticides in Nicaragua that made plantation workers sterile? Could they take the corp. to court? YES! How? What happened? Watch Bananas!*

Here’s the module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-8-class-action/

10/ Corporate fightback | Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

But what if the corp you’re criticising tries to discredit your doc, to stop you from showing it? What are the dark arts of Corporate PR? Bananas!*’ Fredrik Gertten found out the hard way & showed them all in his sequel Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

Here’s our module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-9-corporate-fightback/

11/ Union mobilisation | UDITA (Arise)

But where else in supply chains can people campaign for better pay & conditions? For safer places to work? How can they exert leverage on others? Workers of the world Join a Union (if you can). Like in Bangladesh, as shown in our next doc UDITA (Arise)

Here’s our module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-10-union-mobilization/

12/ Citizen media | The Messenger Band

Last, what about activists in producer countries who create media for fellow workers not Western consumers? Like Cambodia’s The Messenger Band. Ex-garment workers, researching labour struggles & rights then making & performing songs to spread the word

Here’s our module page https://followthethingsmodule.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/week-11-citizen-media/

One comment

  1. Pingback: Decolonising ‘follow the things’ teaching and learning? Defeated | the back office

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