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Who Makes Our Clothes? The Invisibility of Labor in the Garment Industry

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Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

102 Kroeber Hall, University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720

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Event description
Who makes our clothes? Under what conditions? This talk by Dr. Sanchita Saxena will grapple with the tragic realities of fast fashion.

About this Event

The Lounge Lecture series, hosted alongside the current exhibit Cloth That Stretches: Weaving Community Across Time and Space, provides an opportunity to explore topics related to cloth and textiles with leading experts. This February, join Dr. Sanchita Saxena for an in depth discussion of the harsh realities of the global textile industry.

Using the Rana Plaza tragedy on April 24, 2013 as a starting point, Dr. Saxena will examine the strategies used by Western companies to strictly monitor and inspect a portion of Bangladesh’s registered factories, hoping to prevent future disasters. This move by Western brands has been touted as unprecedented and innovative, and while these organizations have made some important progress, Dr. Saxena argues that the strategies employed over the last seven years have made limited stride sin improving the lives and conditions of the thousands of workers in the sector. In effect, focusing only on monitoring factories as a solution obscures the extreme pressures suppliers face from brands to produce large quantities, at the lowest price, and in the shortest time possible; these are all factors which contribute to keeping conditions poor. In order to prevent horrific tragedies like Rana Plaza from occurring in the future, larger flaws in the global chain must be addressed with the hope that this will change the way business is conducted, and reduce the incentives of factory owners to take deadly risks in order to meet the demands of their clients.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Institute for South Asia Studies and The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies.

About the Speaker

Dr. Sanchita Banerjee Saxena is the Executive Director of the Institute for South Asia Studies (Institute) at UC Berkeley and the Director of the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies under the Institute. She is the editor of Labor, Global Supply Chains, and the Garment Industry in South Asia: Bangladesh after Rana Plaza (Routledge, 2020) and author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments andTextiles Industries (Cambria Press, 2014). Dr. Saxena has been a Practitioner Resident at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy and a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. She frequently gives invitedlectures and publishes commentaries in the popular media. Dr. Saxena holds a PhD in political science from UCLA.

Accessibility

The Museum’s newly renovated Gallery strives to provide excellence in accessibility for all visitors. The entrance and all exhibit spaces are wheelchair accessible and located on a single floor. Automatic door push-buttons are available at the front entrance. Content is provided at standard heights with all text in large, legible fonts. A variety of furniture is provided throughout the Gallery to provide resting points for all guests. All exhibit cases and displays are cane detectable. Public restrooms are located near the Gallery. With advance notice, we are happy to provide additional support for guests with specific needs. Please email pahma-gallery@berkeley.edu for more info.

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Date and Time

Location

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology

102 Kroeber Hall, University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA 94720

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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