Thursday, July 5, 2018

Romanian People Noticed That Dior Copied Their Traditional Clothing And Decided To Fight Back In A Genius Way

Fashion brands quite often come under fire for shamelessly plagiarising other brands or artists and “borrowing” elements from local cultures.
Last year, when Dior’s pre-fall collection came out, people began to notice that some of their clothes looked oddly familiar. The designs put the small Romanian region of Bihor in the spotlight. As it turns out Dior’s coat bears a stunning similarity to the traditional Bihor coat. The famous fashion house is now selling the coat for a striking sum of 30,000 euros, however, none of the proceeds will go to Bihor’s community, since Dior never credited the source that may have fuelled their inspiration.
This whole situation began a genius new way to fight against cultural appropriation. Romanian fashion magazine, Beau Monde, launched a campaign to set things straight. With the help of native Bihor craftsmen and designers, they created a brand new fashion line which helps preserve their traditions. This is how Bihor Couture was born. The project allows fashion enthusiasts to buy authentic traditional Bihor clothing for a much cheaper price, while directly paying the local craftsmen who made the clothes.
Scroll below to see Bihor’s designs!
More info: |

Bihor is a small Romanian region filled with unique and beautiful cultural traditions

Image credits: Bihor Couture

The people there are very proud of their traditional clothing designs

Image credits: mirceacantor

That distinguishes them from other cultures

Image credits: Romania Tourism

However last year, when Dior’s pre-fall collection came out, people began to notice that some of their clothes looked oddly familiar

Image credits: Vogue

They bear a stunning similarity to the traditional Bihor jacket

Image credits: Ţara Binşului

Here are the clothes side by side

Image credits: Vogue La Blouse Romaine

The similarities are striking

Image credits: Vogue Romania Tourism

Dior is selling the clothes for 30,000 euros

Image credits: Vogue lablouseroumaine

However, none of the proceeds will go to Bihor’s community, as Dior never credited as their source of inspiration

Image credits: Vogue Romania Dacia

To fight against cultural appropriation Romanian fashion magazine, Beau Monde, launched a wonderful campaign

Image credits: Bihor Couture 

With the help of native Bihor craftsmen and designers, they created a brand new fashion line Bihor Couture

Image credits: Bihor Couture 

The project allows fashion enthusiasts to buy authentic traditional Bihor clothing for a much cheaper price, while directly paying the local craftsmen who made the clothes

Image credits: Bihor Couture 

Watch the video below to hear what Bihor’s fashion critics have to say about Dior’s clothing

Image credits: Bihor Couture

Here’s what people had to say about the issue:

Statue of Liberty climber identified as immigrant activist

The woman who scaled the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday has been identified.
Cops say Therese Patricia Okoumou — a 44-year-old immigrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo — was the person responsible for the Fourth of July protest.
She lives in the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island and is currently in federal custody, according to police sources.
Officers from the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unittransported her to a federal detention center on Wednesday night following her three-hour standoff with authorities. Her case is being handled by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
Sources said that Okoumou told investigators that she climbed up to the feet of Lady Liberty to protest President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration and the separation of families at the border.
According to court records, she’s a Congolese immigrant who once filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights — seeking a judicial review and reversal of a “determination” it made regarding alleged incidents of abuse that Okoumou suffered at the hands of a social services agency on Staten Island where she worked.
Specifically, Okoumou claimed that in 2005 she was treated “in a demeaning manner” by her bosses and told that she would be fired “for complaining of discrimination.” It’s unclear why her complaint was tossed out.
In 2011, Okoumou made headlines after she was hit with an astounding 60 violations for illegally posting ads for her services as a personal trainer.
The Department of Sanitation slapped her with $4,500 in fines that year after she spent five hours one Sunday posting the fliers on Manhattan utility poles.
In 2017, she was arrested and charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly and trespassing during a demonstration at the Department of Labor building on Varick Street. She had allegedly covered her mouth with tape and refused to respond to police demands.
On Wednesday, Okoumou told investigators that she was part of a group protest organized by Rise and Resist NYC. The activists unfurled a banner on Liberty Island less than an hour before her climb, which read: “ABOLISH ICE.”
Organizers initially tried distancing themselves from Okoumou’s Statue of Liberty stunt — saying she had “no connection” to their cause — but later admitted that she was part of the group.
Members described her on social media as a “total bad ass.”
“She’s very dedicated to the resistance generally, but specifically to the issues surrounding immigration and the treatment immigrants have been receiving from ICE and Customs and Border Control,” explained Jay Walker, a Rise and Resist activist “She’s been an active member for about four and five months.”
Walker told The Post that Okoumou helped plan the banner demonstration, but carried out the Statue of Liberty stunt on her own.
“She didn’t tell any of us about this plan,” he said. “We were all really shocked.”
The group had announced their Fourth of July stunt on social media moments before carrying it out Wednesday, but made no mention of the climb.
“We were all really taken back,” Walker said. “At first, we didn’t realize it was our fellow member. It wasn’t until we were able to see close up photos of her that we realized it was her.”
According to Walker, Rise and Resist has been working to ensure that Okoumou gets legal representation now that she’s in federal custody. He told The Post that she managed to make it up to the feet of Lady Liberty all on her own — without ropes or climbing gear.
“We came through all the security protocols that we needed to when getting onto the Liberty Island ferry,” Walker said, noting how Okoumou made it through the metal detectors.
“I guess she just had some hidden climbing skills that none of us knew about.”

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sunday, April 15, 2018

ONLINE COURSE: Politics, Art and Resistance

Explore how art movements have inspired political activism

What’s the link between art and activism?
This course introduces ideas and practices of resistance, and the relationship between art and politics.
You’ll explore:
  • the socially engaged practices of artists, and how art movements have inspired ordinary people
  • art manifestos, and how to develop your own manifesto
  • how creative practices connect with social and political issues
And you’ll have the chance to contribute an image of resistance to a photo mosaic that will be presented as part of Tate Exchange at Tate Modern.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Denmark Gets First Public Statue of a Black Woman, a ‘Rebel Queen’

The statue of Mary Thomas called “I Am Queen Mary” is the first public monument to a black woman in Denmark, according to the artists. CreditNick Furbo 
COPENHAGEN — The statue of the woman is nearly 23 feet tall. Her head is wrapped and she stares straight ahead while sitting barefoot, but regally, in a wide-backed chair, clutching a torch in one hand and a tool used to cut sugar cane in the other.
In Denmark, where most of the public statues represent white men, two artists on Saturday unveiled the striking statue in tribute to a 19th-century rebel queen who had led a fiery revolt against Danish colonial rule in the Caribbean.
They said it was Denmark’s first public monument to a black woman.
The sculpture was inspired by Mary Thomas, known as one of “the three queens.” Thomas, along with two other female leaders, unleashed an uprising in 1878 called the “Fireburn.” Fifty plantations and most of the town of Frederiksted in St. Croix were burned, in what has been called the largest labor revolt in Danish colonial history.
“This project is about challenging Denmark’s collective memory and changing it,” the Virgin Islands artist La Vaughn Belle, one of two principal forces behind the statue, said in a statement.
The unveiling comes at the end of a centennial year commemorating the sale by Denmark of three islands to the United States on March 3, 1917: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. The price: $25 million.Though Denmark prohibited trans-Atlantic slave trafficking in 1792, it did not rush to enforce the ban. The rule took effect 11 years later, and slavery continued until 1848.
“They wanted to fill the stocks first” and ensure enough slaves would remain to keep plantations running, said Niels Brimnes, an associate professor at Aarhus University and a leading expert on colonialism in Denmark.
Three decades after slavery formally ended on what today are known as the United States Virgin Islands, conditions for the former slaves had not improved significantly.
That continued injustice fomented the uprising on St. Croix.
Mary Thomas was tried for her role in the rebellion and ferried across the Atlantic to a women’s prison in Copenhagen. The statue created in tribute to her, called “I Am Queen Mary,” sits in front of what was once a warehouse for Caribbean sugar and rum, just more than a mile from where she was jailed.
The only other tribute to Denmark’s colonies or those who were colonized is a statue of a generic figure from Greenland.
The two artists, Jeannette Ehlers, left, and La Vaughn Belle, were inspired by Mary Thomas, who with two other female leaders known as Queens unleashed an uprising in 1878 on St. Croix. CreditNikolaj Recke 
The Danish artist Jeannette Ehlers, who teamed up with Ms. Belle to create the “Queen Mary” monument, said, “Ninety-eight percent of the statues in Denmark are representing white males.”
The torch and the cane bill held in the statue’s hands symbolize the resistance strategies by those who were colonized, the artists said in a statement. Her seated pose “recalls the iconic 1967 photograph of Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party.”
And the plinth on which her chair rests incorporates “coral cut from the ocean by enslaved Africans gathered from ruins of the foundations of historic buildings on St. Croix.”
Henrik Holm, senior research curator at Denmark’s National Gallery of Art, said in a statement: “It takes a statue like this to make forgetting less easy. It takes a monument like this to fight against the silence, neglect, repression and hatred.”
He added: “Never before has a sculpture like this been erected on Danish soil. Now, Denmark is offered a sculpture that addresses the past. But it is also an artwork for the future.”
The preferred self-image of this country of 5.5 million is that of a nation at the forefront of democratization and a savior of Jews during World War II.
And even though the Vikings raped and pillaged their way around the shores of Britain and Ireland, the Viking Age is generally a source of national pride and amusement in Denmark.
Over the centuries, Danes have not undergone a national reckoning about the thousands of Africans forced onto Danish ships to work the plantations in Danish colonies in the Caribbean, historians say.
“It may have to do with the narrative of Denmark as a colonial power saying, ‘We weren’t as bad as others,’” Professor Brimnes said. “But we were just as bad as the others. I can’t identify a particular, humane Danish colonialism.”
In a speech last year, the Danish prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, expressed regret for his country’s part in the slave trade — but he stopped short of an apology.
“Many of Copenhagen’s beautiful old houses were erected with money made on the toil and exploitation on the other side of the planet,” he said.
“It’s not a proud part of Denmark’s history. It’s shameful and luckily of the past.”