Monday May 9th, 7 PM | Communications 150 (Studio C)
An evening exploring globalized production chains, textiles, and tactility, featuring work by visiting filmmaker Laura Kissel and Film + Digital Media Lecturer Patricia Alvarez. Screening followed by discussion with the filmmakers.
co-sponsored by the Center for Emerging Worlds
ENTRETEJDIO (Patricia Alvarez, 2015, 33 min.)
Peruvian alpaca wool is a material of utmost significance among Andean highland communities and their rich textile traditions. Within global fashion worlds, Peruvian alpaca wool is considered a highly luxurious material, exceptionally manufactured at the hands of artisans and herders living in extreme poverty. This supply chain has become a site of development efforts seeking to alleviate poverty and foster social inclusion within Peru’s emerging high-fashion world. Entretejido is an experimental observational documentary film that weaves together the different sites and communities involved in the making of alpaca wool fashions, exploring the varying representations of indigeneity that emerge out of these encounters, which both challenge and reproduce historically-rooted racism. The film is a sensorial immersion into the textures that compose this supply chain, from animal to runway, that brings viewers into contact with the ways the objects we wear are entangled in national racial politics and histories. It’s a film about the creation, depth and tension of surfaces.
Patricia Alvarez is a filmmaker and anthropologist whose scholarly research and media practice unfolds at the interstice of ethnographic practice and documentary arts. Her creative and intellectual work explores the intersection of racial and ethnic politics, capitalism and enactments of social justice in the context of Latin America. She completed a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Digital Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Currently, she is a Lecturer in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz and will be starting a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality in Rice University this coming Fall. Born and raised in Puerto Rico her photographic, video and installation work has been exhibited in the Caribbean and the US.
COTTON ROAD (Laura Kissel, 2014, 72 min.)
What does a rural town in South Carolina have to do with China? Americans consume nearly twenty billion new items of clothing each year, and at least one billion of them are made in China.Cotton Road uncovers the transnational movement of cotton and tells the stories of worker’s lives in a conventional cotton supply chain. From rural farms in South Carolina to factory cities in China, we span the globe to encounter the industrial processes behind our rapacious consumption of cheap clothing and textile products. Are we connected to one another through the things we consume? Cotton Road explores a contemporary landscape of globalized labor through human stories and provides an opportunity to reflect on the ways our consumption impacts others and drives a global economy.
Laura Kissel is an Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker whose work explores contemporary social, cultural and political landscapes and the use of orphan films. She was named the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Media Arts Fellow for 2007-2008 and has received numerous fellowships and grants for her work, including a Fulbright Award, a MacDowell Fellowship, funding from the South Carolina Humanities Council and the Fledgling Fund. Recently completed short documentaries include tan mian hua and Window Cleaning in Shanghai, which premiered at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2011 and were included in The Flaherty’s touring festival City Symphonies in 2011-2012. Cotton Road, a feature length documentary about a global cotton supply chain, is screening at national and international venues in 2014-2016. She is Associate Professor and Director of the Film and Media Studies Program in the School of Visual Art and Design, University of South Carolina