Conversations to Redress a Fashion Disaster, 4 November 2019

Decolonial Critiques to Fashion’s Climate Urgency Response

4 November 2019

Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht

Conversations to Redress a Fashion Disaster is a programme of conversations, artworks and film screenings that propose decoloniality as a way to rethink the interconnectivity between fashion and climate urgency, convened by the Research Collective for Decolonizing Fashion during the two-day Urgency Intensive at the Jan van Eyck Academy on 04-05 November 2019.

While the dominant fashion industry remains driven by (over)production, (over)consumption and financial growth, resources are running out and leftovers are filling up ever more landfills in an endless race to increase profits. Meanwhile, conversations remain limited to re-use, recycle and renew and policies remain restricted to carbon emissions, (less polluting) materials and (more) ethical production methods. A status quo lures if the ‘real’ problems are not tackled and ‘real’ solutions are not formulated. As Sandra Niessen points out, ‘although sustainability, including climate change, weighs heavily on the mind of everybody associated with fashion, coloniality is an all but forgotten ingredient in the mix’ and ‘a radical disruption of the fashion system is necessary.’

The RCDF project was established in 2012, and has since sustained conversations and efforts to critique the contempt, discrimination and exclusion of Other fashion systems, unequal global power relations based on modern-colonial order, the Euro-American canon of normativity in regard to fashion and the exploitation and abuse of natural resources, Other human beings and cultural heritages. It aims to disrupt, innovate and formulate alternatives for a discriminating, polluting and ineluctably exploitive hegemonic Eurocentric fashion industry.

Conversations to Redress a Fashion Disaster offers a programme of honest and open, but at times uncomfortable, conversations between RCDF members Toby Slade (Tokyo), Sandra Niessen (Arnhem), Erica de Greef (Cape Town) and Angela Jansen (Maastricht) and members of the creative and academic community in Maastricht, the Jan van Eyck Academy, students, activists, instructors, practitioners, curators, thinkers and the general public[*] to envision a more diverse, inclusive and sustainable plurality of fashion systems. Four questions that will be addressed are,

  • Everything Has to Change – Why Decolonise Fashion?
  • Can (Fashion) Education Be Decolonial?
  • What is the Future of Luxury?
  • What is the Potential of the Digital for (Fashion) Curation?

The RCDF and JvE are happy to invite you to join the conversation and register by sending an email to submission.rcdf@gmail.com

Download the programme here


[*] Disclaimer: As little people as possible are being flown in for this event.

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