“On the day that marks the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, Andrew Morgan (director True Cost) and Eco-Age founder Livia Firth, release Fashionscapes: A Living Wage, the fourth in the investigative short documentary series available on Eco-Age TV. In this latest addition to the Fashionscapes series on fashion’s just and ecological future, the pair follow the story of the activists and change-makers calling time on the poverty wages that trap millions of garment workers in never-ending poverty. For the first time the industry, that allows its workforce to live in destitution for its own ends, faces a coordinated, structured challenge through international law.”
Thanks to @kieranspeaks for the post
In the summer of 2020, Geographies of Material Culture, the undergraduate module behind our website, was totally reorganised for online teaching and learning. As detailed in our recent post announcing the launch of its public archive, it brought together 10 ‘follow the thing’ films and 10 followthethings.com pages about their making, discussion and impacts.
This module was also redesigned – from the selection and sequence of these films to the content and appearance of its website – to try to decolonise its pedagogy. Over the past couple of years a brilliant decolonising network has taken shape at our university with all kinds of exciting initiatives involving staff and students all over the place. The changes made to our module were informed and inspired by this wider movement. Some were generic strategies for decolonising a module and others were more tailored to the module, its materials and its aims. Module leader and followthethings.com ‘CEO’ Ian has been trying to channel his white privilege through anti-racist education for over 20 years now (see this from 2000). But this felt like a step change for his research and teaching about the ‘follow the things’ genre of commodity activism which simply asks ‘Who made my stuff?’
If you check the module’s public archive, you will see how the following decolonising strategies helped to shape it. There were five aims:
- to disrupt the ‘white saviour complex’ of ‘guilty’ Northern (white) consumers wanting only to shop more ‘ethically to help exploited (POC) workers by trying to shift responses to ‘who made my stuff’ filmmaking ‘from guilt to solidarity’ (Young 2003).