On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City burned, killing 145 workers. “It is remembered as one of the most infamous incidents in American industrial history, as the deaths were largely preventable–most of the victims died as a result of neglected safety features and locked doors within the factory building. The tragedy brought widespread attention to the dangerous sweatshop conditions of factories, and led to the development of a series of laws and regulations that better protected the safety of workers.”
It certainly had a massive impact on Carole Frances Lung, artist, activist, and scholar living in Long Beach, CA. enough to create an alter ego called Frau Fiber. Lung says on her site that this alter ego “utilizes a hybrid of playful activism, cultural criticism, research and spirited crafting of one of a kind garment production performances She investigates the human cost of mass production and consumption, addressing issues of value and time through the thoroughly hand-made construction and salvaging of garments.”
Lung calls herself “the biographer of Frau Fiber, a fictitious character who was born in Apoloda Germany, September 13, 1966 and who worked in the local garment and knitting factories until the wall came down and she and many of her comrades lost their jobs to China.
In 2006, at the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar Germany, Lung says they “met” and became fast friends, and in the fall of 2006, Frau Fiber moved to Chicago where she began the Sewing Rebellion at Mess Hall in Rodgers Park. Frau Fiber has traveled the US and the world creating soft guerrilla actions, making apparel production transparent. She now lives in Long Beach, CA, where she tracks the import of textile goods into the port.
While her work is futile she perseveres…
Read the interview here.