ART // THE TAILORS OF PORT-AU-PRINCE

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The Tailors of Port-au-Prince (Haiti) is an exhibition or project by artist Leah Gordon whose photographs capture the effects of American industrialization/imperialism/overconsumption on the small island of Haiti’s working class.  ”This project is an exploration of the redundancy of skills during an epoch of change and upheaval, including the liberalization of developing economies, the ascent of digital data over analog and the effects of increasing personal technological dependencies”, says Gordon.  Port-au-Prince’s tailors have been making their people’s clothing for generations but in the last 15 years since natural disasters have forced Haiti to become a donor haven, where rich world organizations and charities donate their used goods and old clothes to Haitans, American second hand clothing has flooded the island so much that the island’s self-employed tailors have become obsolete. The only thing they make consistently still are school uniforms, which is what part of this project is about capturing. The project is made up of black and white portraits of the tailors and children in their school uniform as seen above.  The photos of the children are also black and white but have been printed by analogue printer Debbie Sears and beautifully hand tinted by Marg Duston.  I love the treatment of the photos and this entire project, these could be kids from Mdantsane.  See the rest of the project here.

 

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