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The Mittal Institute’s recent panel webinar, “The Labor of Fashion, the Global COVID-19 Crisis, and the Politics of Resistance in Bangladesh,” was moderated by Dr. Elora Chowdhury, Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Dr. Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University.

The global apparel industry is currently facing an unprecedented crisis resulting from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Major fashion retailers in the Global North are closing their stores and laying off workers, and thousands of workers are currently out of work and facing a unique livelihood, as well as a health threat. 

By bringing together labor rights organizers and critical scholars, this webinar addresses: How can we move beyond the spotlight approach of focusing on one actor of the apparel supply chain at a time? How can we engage in dialogues and organizing across borders to simultaneously hold the global retailers, governments, and factory owners accountable for ensuring workers’ safety and wellbeing? What does a transnational resistance that is mindful of the power differences between labor organizers in the Global North and the Global South look like?

Our moderators were joined by five experts on the subject:

  • Taslima Akhter, Photographer and Organizer, Bangladesh Garments Sramik Shanghati
  • Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
  • Dr. Seuty Sabur, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, BRAC University, Bangladesh
  • Dr. Dina M. Siddiqi, Clinical Associate Professor, Liberal Studies, New York University
  • Dr. Nafisa Tanjeem, Assistant Professor, Global Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Lesley University

Transcript

  • View as Word Doc: Here
  • View as PDF: Here