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This is the first presentation I made after the inception of labels at the Art History Department of the Faculty of Fine Art, at MS University, Baroda.
labels was created for the Fine Arts Fair which is a bi-annual event at the Faculty of Fine Art designed to get students to interact with artisans and produce craft objects.

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  1. 1. L a b e l s A project that explores identity in the context of clothing and market economy.
  2. 2. <ul><li>What do you know about your clothes? </li></ul><ul><li>What you wear is a marker of who are you are. </li></ul><ul><li>Or is it? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Clothing oneself is a way of marking public and private, making the body visible and invisible in certain spaces and places and Of inscribing ourselves with cultural meaning.
  4. 4. Clothing is also a way packaging oneself, for the street, the stranger and the known.
  5. 5. <ul><li>While on one level it really doesn't matter what you wear in a globalised world because those traditional relationships have broken down, at another level, the very same freedom we have of mobility across classes and occupations implies that the older structures that supported our traditional economy are at stake. </li></ul>
  6. 6. With stiff competition from foreign and multi national companies with all their advertising and brand value, it remains to be seen how smaller stake holders will cope.
  7. 7. These are pictures of a ceiling in a hotel in small town Gujarat. The logos of Nike and Reebok have been made in cement as part of its décor.
  8. 8. The critics of advertising and branding are numerous even in the west where its most rampant. Noami Klien, Canadian author of ‘No Logo’ and outspoken critic of the ad industry says &quot;I think brands definitely are filling a very real need.The question is, are they filling it well? I believe that they tend to fill it in a fairly unsatisfying way. You can go to these brand temples like Niketown, and you can get a piece of the story, the narrative, the dream behind that brand. But when you get home, it is just a pair of sneakers, right? … They're not actually going to fulfill those needs, which serves them very well because, of course, that means that you have to go shopping again to try to fill them.&quot;
  9. 9. Would I choose to go to Nava Bazar if I had the money to shop at Alkapuri?
  10. 10. The landscape of today's’ India has extreme poverty one hand and a growing middle class on the other, a growing technological culture on one hand and rising religious consciousness on the other.
  11. 11. Advertising strategies for this diverse market target the young consumer for both the latest cell phones as well as feel-good charities. Advertising and mass media strategies can be used to sell both politicians as well as beauty products for the gullible.
  12. 12. Contemporary fashion and advertising industries treat the female body and now, increasingly even the male body as an object of consumption, a hanger/mannequin for the latest trend. Our own assumptions of ourselves are often defined by the way we consume. Young people like me seek solace in buying. Shopping is as much about pleasure as is wearing something that you think ‘becomes you’. Concepts like taste and pleasure are and can be easily co-opted to sell, from soap, to cars.
  13. 13. <ul><li>The ways that the Indian market has held up to the onslaught of big brands is either through creating newer brands for indigenous clothing, like ‘FABINDIA’, or </li></ul><ul><li>of finding ways for craftspeople to exhibit in urban situations through the model of the crafts mela , or </li></ul><ul><li>of having trained designers work with so called ‘artisans’ or holders of traditional skills to produce intermediary products for the urban milieu. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Our project is an alternative to the big store culture. Just like everything in this fair these clothes will be made by us , but working with local tailors. Their names and addresses will be made public at the fair in order to market their work. </li></ul><ul><li>Among us are people who see themselves as future fashion designers. How can these aspiring designers work in equilibrium with these tailors so as to create sustainable livelihoods for both us and them? </li></ul>
  15. 15. performance <ul><li>Today Yesterday </li></ul><ul><li>stole dupatta </li></ul><ul><li>skirt lehenga </li></ul><ul><li>Jeans/trousers dhoti </li></ul><ul><li>This is rather simplistic look at the way fashions and attitudes have changed. Does this shift entail more choices for the people that we call ‘today’s’ generation? </li></ul><ul><li>Is my life going to be very different form that of my mother’s? </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Our performances are about our identities. </li></ul><ul><li>The clothing we design will have labels stiched on them, the likes of: </li></ul><ul><li>name: purab </li></ul><ul><li>age: 19 </li></ul><ul><li>Sex: male </li></ul><ul><li>Location: Bombay </li></ul><ul><li>Occupation : call center employee </li></ul><ul><li>interest/idiosyncrasy/likes to : crack jokes </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>By way of performance, Purab’s story will be brought out .There will be five performers in all, </li></ul><ul><li>And their narratives will be about us ,our delimmas and our choices… </li></ul><ul><li>The clothes line will carry these labels on each garment.These labels will be the brands of our clothes-line… </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Internet files from Naomi Klien’s site called </li></ul>Photographs and presentation by Raheema Begum, MVA Part 1 This presentation is Copy-Left, free to copy and distribute.