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Please Save Our Earth! : How to Wear Out Climate Change
Presented by Vox Populi's Black Box Curatorial Fellow Sarah Kim
Virtual Programs: Jan-April | Exhibition: April 15 - May 23

Please Save Our Earth! : How to Wear Out Climate Change
Organized by 2020 Black Box Curatorial Fellow Sarah Kim
Virtual Programs: January – April, 2021
Exhibition: April 15 – May 23, 2021

Programs
Jan. 23 | Workshop: Mending + Patching with Serena Hocharoen
Feb. 10 | Panel: Waste Not, Want Not – Conversations on Sustainable Clothing with Kimberly McGlonn (Grant Blvd) + Kirsty Robertson (Synthetic Collective)
Feb. 20 | Workshop: Natural Dye Workshop with Katie Kaplan
stay tuned for additional program dates!

Project Synopsis
Please Save Our Earth! is a series of events and workshops, and a forthcoming exhibition at Vox Populi, that explores sustainable fabrics and garment making. Beginning with lessons on patching and ending with paper-making, programming will look at how we recycle existing clothes and the relationship between fashion, climate change, historical garment traditions, and marginalized communities. The exhibition will highlight five local artists who create sustainably.

Curatorial Statement
Wildfires, catastrophic storms, unbreathable air, and melting ice caps are all ubiquitous in the public imagination. However, the reality of inevitable environmental collapse seems yet to hit home. Many still believe we live within the slim window of climate pacification. The methods we use to restrain climate change — use less plastic, fly less, waste less water, eat less meat — seem futile when we can’t control any factor but ourselves… and there are infinite factors.

One cluster of factors lies in the fashion industry. Man’s exploitation of nature in pursuit of adornment is ancient and relentless; in the Roman empire, thousands of Murex rock snails were dissected to near extinction for Tyrian purple dye. Nowadays, it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt; about 5 trillion liters of water are used each year for fabric dyeing; and around 20% of global waste water can be traced to the fashion industry. Even the secondhand market is not clean; most used clothing is directed from the West to East, North to South, into developing countries where it damages the local textile economy.

While fashion and its attendant cosmetic industries do not boast the clear evil of oil or meat, they are some of the most common and insidious polluters, more so in a social media culture. Self-image is ubiquitous, self-expression is a virtue, and adornment is key in inscribing the parameters of that virtue. Those in aesthetic professions can too well identify with this: presentation increasingly signifies artistic talent, aesthetic tribe, and other forms of cultural capital. The anxiety to perform and purchase uniqueness is amplified by the cycle of trends accelerated by tastemakers and designers.

Please Save Our Earth! is a series of events and workshops that explore sustainable fabrics and garment making. Beginning with lessons on patching and ending with paper-making, the programming looks at how we recycle existing clothes and the relationship between fashion, climate change, historical garment traditions, and marginalized communities while highlighting five local artists who create sustainably. Knowing where fabric comes from and how to craft it may seem niche, but understanding it will become ever more valuable, and more importantly, empowering as the effects of climate change become more insistent. What we wear, our second skin is one of the things we can control.

About Sarah Kim
Sarah Kim (they/them) is an artist, critic and event organizer. They work towards supporting marginalized voices in the arts and divesting art and art-adjacent spheres from white supremacy. Currently, they are reflecting on ways to merge eco-activism with creative practice. They are from the Los Angeles area and have been living in West Philadelphia since 2014.

About Vox Populi’s Black Box Curatorial Fellowship
Since 2013, Vox Populi has supported the work of curators focusing on time-based arts and performance practices through the Black Box Curatorial Fellowship (previously known as AUX Curatorial Fellowship). Managed by Vox’s Black Box Committee, the Fellowship offers financial, facilities, administrative and programming support to one curator or curatorial collective located in Philadelphia or surrounding areas focusing on the research, development and presentation of live or durational forms – including performance, dance, music, poetry, film/video, fashion, and new or emergent genres. More info.

This fellowship is supported in part by the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant.