Garment Industry / News

Khmer-American Artist Kat Eng to “Haunt You While You Shop”

Less Than Three </3
Khmer-American Artist Brings Cambodian  Struggle to Times Sq. H&M
Kat Eng -New York City – January 17 2014

January 17 2014

On Friday morning, Khmer-American artist Kat Eng set up a sewing machine in front of H&M’s Times Square location. The eight-hour performance was a response to the brutal military crackdown of striking garment workers in Cambodia. In early January, 500,000 workers joined a strike to demand a livable wage. Over 400 factories were forced to shut down operation. The government ordered military police fired upon demonstrators, killing five and injuring dozens. In solidarity with the oppressed workers the artist worked the entire day, stitching together 2 and 2/3 actual dollar bills, the daily salary of garment workers.

“</3 is not a campaign for pity or charity. 
It is an act of solidarity with the women who labor under the boot of multinational corporations and their collapsing industrial machines, women who literally create immense value with their own callused hands yet remain in poverty.
It is a message to consumer culture: behind every stitch is a hand, a face, a person.
It is a critique of working class commodification and the brand industrial complex. I am not here to list the names of every corporation engaged in exploitation in Cambodia- though I will. I am here to meet you, the consumer, and to be consumed by you and to rest in the pit of your stomach. To be explicit, to haunt you while you shop.”

Less Than Three is a response to the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) call to a Global Week of Action against Gov’t Crackdown on Cambodian Protesters.

Note: H&M is just one of many corporations that source their goods from Cambodia but has faced increasing scrutiny over scandals in recent years:
Second Cambodian factory collapse injures 23 workers who produce clothes for H&M 

‘Forced overtime’ claim in H&M mass fainting

7 thoughts on “Khmer-American Artist Kat Eng to “Haunt You While You Shop”

  1. Pingback: The Plight of Cambodia’s Garment Workers…………….. | Living in SouthEast Asia.

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