Tenyoh, emotional figurative ceramic sculpture
One hundred years ago in New York City, a fire ignited on the 9th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. The doors were locked, and the workers, mostly teenage girls, were trapped. Some of them jumped off the burning building so that their families would have the bodies to properly mourn for. One hundred forty six perished.
The tragedy of the Triangle Factory is repeating one hundred years later. In Bangladesh, garment factory fires have been claiming young lives – over 300 since 2006. The locks that hinder both theft and escape demonstrate how expendable the labor sources are to the employers. When young girls, who have no choice but to work in sweatshops, leap to their deaths from the blaze of injustice, their voiceless cry echoes. “Notice us! We are also humans.”
It may not be surprising to know that major contractors to those garment factories are US companies and that over 95% of apparel sold in this country are produced under these harsh conditions. What is mind-boggling is that even after the disturbing fact is revealed, many of us still choose affordability over fairness.