Fashion evokes emotions. It’s seductive. It’s sexy. It defines social status, it drives commerce and represents cultural heritage. The city of Bielefeld owes much of its prosperity today, numerous jobs and the existence of entire city districts to its historical textile industry. However, the reality of production no longer corresponds to the traditional image of the city. The textile branch is a global game of fierce competition, flashy, complex and brutal. The starting point is 1959 when Bielefeld’s largest companies began exporting production abroad. And what was once local became global.
This project examines the textile branch as a model case of globalisation and social structural transformation. It searches for people and the stories behind them. The international investigation into textile production and distribution chains will amass a large collection of MATERIAL, from which the project will develop several interdisciplinary productions in 2017/18 which combine drama, dance, music theatre, film and photography.
A joint project by the Faculty of Sociology and the master’s degree programme in Interdisciplinary Media Studies at the University of Bielefeld, the bachelor’s programme in Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, and the Museum Alte Wäschefabrik.