Illuminating Rana Plaza: NYFW Protest and Projection Favorite 


Feb 6 2014


New York

To protest unethical labor practices in Bangladesh, specifically unsafe working conditions, 99 Pickets, The Illuminator, and Ismail Ferdous took action during New York Fashion Week.

99 Pickets members protested, drawing attention to the question, "How are my clothes really made?" during NYFW, a time where consumers are especially focused on the luxury and aesthetic value of clothing rather than the origin of its production. Eric Dirnbach with 99 Pickets, said that this action was not just a protest about safety conditions, but also a protest about the logistics of the fashion industry business model, as many fast fashion companies get their "inspiration" from runway shows and then quickly mass produce similar pieces, pressuring workers to meet strict deadlines, and contributing to grueling sweatshop conditions.

In conjunction, photojournalist Ismail Ferdous created a presentation, curating gruesome and powerful photos he took in the aftermath of Rana Plaza, which were then projected onto the Lincoln Center with the help of the Illuminator Project. This presentation ended with the questions "What is the cost of fashion?"

In addition to raising consumer awareness about the true cost of fashion, this presentation was meant to pressure companies like Walmart and Gap who have yet to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord, an legal agreement by western companies to create safe working conditions in Bangladesh factories.

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