Bread and Roses, 2003
Bread and Roses: 100 Years from the Lower East Side to the Maquiladoras
Produced in collaboration with Laura Burns
“Bread & Roses,” a series of photographs I produced collaboratively with Laura Burns, is a comparative study of the history of Jewish women immigrant labor organizers in the garment trades on the Lower East Side of Manhattan circa 1890-1930, to contemporary women organizing for labor rights in the garment trades along the US/Mexican border. The project consists of a series of large, back-lit diptychs, which pair one computer-sewn portrait of an historical labor activist with a color photograph of a contemporary Mexican labor activist. “Bread & Roses” seeks to create a link across time and geography—from the beginnings of industrialization to its current legacy in globalization, and from New York City, birthplace of the sweatshop, to the border, site of contemporary sweatshops. The project hopes to incite viewers to consider the ways in which xenophobic attitudes towards immigrants and border workers allow exploitative labor conditions to persist.
Exhibited: School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD, May 2003