Sports & Politics
Creative dress art vs. globalisation madness
What about globalisation? What advantages did it have again? For the time being, the economic marshalling yard has stopped in West Africa, precisely at Accra's (Ghana's capital) Kantamanto market - and the effects of socio-economic disparities, lack of political regulations and social cushioning in favour of a social and ecological disaster become particularly glaringly obvious here.
Every week, 15 million - in words: FIVE TEN MILLION - used clothes from North America, China and Europe are dumped there.
"Women and girls, so-called kayeiyei (porters), balance huge bales of clothes from importers to traders and consumers (...) The mass import of old and cheap clothes from North America, China and Europe is nipping Ghana's local textile industry in the bud. The fact that around 40 percent of these old clothes are illegally burnt and buried, with devastating consequences for the environment, is little known. There are hardly any countermeasures," writes art magazine in a recent article that is actually about the Ghanaian artist Sel Kofiga.
Kofiga is an artist, performer and socio-political activist and has a message with his fashion label "The Slum Studio": he searches markets for shirts, trousers and jackets made of light cotton. He uses these pieces like a canvas, enhancing them with colour, painting and patterns that he borrows from famous artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat or George Condo and combines in new ways. He also presents many of his works on Instagram!
With his work, Sel Kofiga rebels against the effects of a de-limited globalisation: "I wish everyone understood that what we wear today affects someone else in another place," art magazine quotes him: "If we take good care of works of art, they last longer: we should do the same with our clothes."
Style PASS finds: Sel Kofiga's work is thought-provoking and creates a guilty conscience, because we as Europeans are probably so unaware of the far-reaching consequences of dropping off jeans or that old jumper at one "welfare" organisation or another.
Style PASS demands: Africans must be supported in their own economy, including creative clothing production! They must not be abused as an involuntary dumping ground of a (Western) throwaway society.