Luiz Coelho


Hanging Clothes
Photographic Installation

The series of images above is part of an installation* which intends to raise awareness about the deplorable conditions under which many of our clothes are made. Unfortunately, sweatshops abound in the US and abroad, and many clothing companies still hire third-party contractors without checking accurately if workers will be submitted to decent conditions. In many cases, the cheap clothes we buy were produced under near slavery conditions.

The installation consists of a fake department store, with clothes for sale. These, however, have "marks of oppression": blood stains, dirt, holes, and other marks that laborers often suffer due to overwork, bad environmental conditions, and accidents. People are invited to choose the clothes they intend to "buy" and wear them at the changing room, which mimics a sweatshop. Its dirty walls are covered with labor-rights posters from around the world, and news about labor abuses (from trustworthy news sources) while hidden speakers play continuously the oppressive sound of twenty sewing machines.

* The installation "Buy Oppression" was first exhibited at SCAD—Atlanta's 5th floor exhibit space.