At followthethings.com we’re fascinated with ways in which cultural activism can contribute to trade justice campaiging. Over the past month, our work has ground to a halt as our CEO Ian – in his guise as a UK-based academic – has been on strike. He has returned to work today as the Coronavirus crisis in the UK is beginning to bite. This post is primarily for students at the University of Exeter taking the MRes Critical Human Geographies module on the ‘Geographies of culture, creativity and practice’ . It’s posted here as part of the social distancing digital alternative to a seminar that’s scheduled to take place later this week. But we’re making it public rather than putting it on the university’s ELE system. If anyone visiting wants to add thoughts and links, the comments are open. Thanks!
There are three parts to this post: a) a starter reading for everyone, b) an intro to 2020 UCU strike activism with some allocated readings for each person, and c) an outline of our Skype session later this week.Continue reading
We’ve been running a free online course for the past three weeks with and for the Fashion Revolution movement. It’s called ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ and has been organised according to its mantra – Be Curious, Find Out, Do Something. We’ve asked our learners to finish the course by making a pledge to… do something that will contribute to Fashion Revolution’s vision of ‘a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure’. Here’s the pledge that our CEO Ian has made.
— Ian Cook et al (@iancooketal) July 13, 2017
A concept inspired by this art-activist work https://t.co/zDjNu7E6rB
— Ian Cook et al (@iancooketal) July 13, 2017
Another pledge is to run the course again in 2018. Watch this space.
As we come to the end of 2016, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of our shoppers around the world.
We look forward to your custom in 2017.
Very best wishes
Ian et al
PS for a detailed breakdown of 2016’s analytics, browse our full ClustrMap page.
Yes, it’s that time of year when we pretend to have an awards ceremony to mark what’s happened with our website – and the work that spins through and out of it – over the past 12 months. It’s a way of thanking all of our contributors and shoppers, to show how you have helped to shape what followthethings.com is becoming. Highlights and top 10s of 2015? Here they are:
- was the year that we welcomed out 100,000th shopper, our 300,000th page view and our 194th country in which our online shoppers are based;
- saw the publication of the first academic paper explaining how followthethings.com was made, with whom, and what it is designed to do in the world (see p.23 on here, in French);
- saw the publication of a film in which our CEO Ian Cook explains why many of our pages contain scenes made in LEGO;
- saw new followthethings.com collaborative research with artists Neville and Joan Gabie on Dust (part of the Bideford Black project), and with artist Paula Crutchlow and others on the Museum of Contemporary Commodities;
- saw a closer involvement in the Fashion Revolution movement after CEO Ian’s appointment as its Global Education and Resources lead, and his co-authoring of the movement’s free ‘who made my clothes?’ education resources (register here) and first book: How to be a fashion revolutionary;
- and saw the much-needed expansion of our classroom resources page, including resources and stories of thing-following pedagogies from primary school to university classrooms.
Here we go [drum roll]…
Top 10 shopping countries (c/w 2014)
This is the project that Ian founded with Exeter-based artist and PhD student Paula Crutchlow in 2013. It involves a whole host of collaborators now. It is going public this weekend in London’s Finsbury Park. And its website is now live. Please check out what it’s about and take part in person and/or online. Here’s what it’s about. Click the logo to get to the webpage.
The Museum of Contemporary Commodities (MoCC) is neither a building nor a permanent collection of stuff – it’s an invitation. To consider every shop, online store and warehouse full of stuff as if it were a museum, and all the things in it part of our collective future heritage.
Imagine yourself as this museum’s curator with the power to choose what is displayed and how. To trace and interpret the provenance and value of these things and how they arrived here. To consider the effects this stuff has on people and places close by or far away, and how and why it connects them.
What do we mean by things or stuff? Everything that you can buy in today’s society. The full range of contemporary commodities available to consume.
Please join us on our journey by browsing and adding to our collection, attending an event, becoming a researcher. We are currently curating connections between trade-place-data-values in Finsbury Park, London, and here online. Welcome to MoCC!
Fashion Revolution Day PRESS RELEASE TO EDUCATION PRESS
Fashion Revolution Day Offers Engaging Resources for Educators and Students of All Ages
Teaching controversial issues through students’ clothes
The second Fashion Revolution Day will take place on 24 April 2015 to mark the anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza clothing factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This global campaign calls for more transparency in fashion supply chains and asks young people in particular to ask brands the question “who made my clothes?”
Following the success of the first Fashion Revolution Day in 2014 when schools, colleges and universities across the world took part, the Fashion Revolution Day Education Team has just launched 4 individual education packs for 2015: for Primary, Secondary, Sixth Form/College and University students. Continue reading
In January 2013, phase 1 of the ‘Museum of Contemporary Commodities’ (MoCC) art/social science project took place at the University of Exeter: a trade justice thinkering day. This month, phase 2 – in London’s Finsbury Park – began to take shape. Here’s what we’re doing and how you can get involved, as published on Furtherfield’s website.
Job Opportunity – MoCC Project Producer and Coordinator, Furtherfield, London
Initial contract 120 hours May – July 2015. £1,800 (VAT inclusive)
Wanted! Curious Shoppers and Local Traders
Explore the rapidly changing economies of global capitalism, and help to create a radical new artwork in Finsbury Park.
In July 2015 the Museum of Contemporary Commodities will transform Furtherfield Gallery into an interactive shop-museum, filled with locally sold products that are ranked by different categories and preferences.
We are inviting Finsbury Park residents (and online participants) to join a team of volunteer researchers and art makers and get involved in the process through a series of walkshops, workshops and digital-arty-social events, running April-July in the park and online.
Share your experiences of shopping and trading, and help us create an engaging and entertaining experience with sensor technology, sound design, digital interactions and live action, that makes visible some of the complex relationships at play between data surveillance, trade justice, and global/local commodity culture.
How to get involved in Finsbury Park and online
This year we’ve been involved in creating the content for Fashion Revolution Day’s education packs (including its quiz and trump card game). If you are teaching fashion ethics/geographies/activism on or around the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse on 24 April, they contain a variety of ways to creatively engage students in the controversial issues raised. Click the images for more.