The Garment Worker” is an interactive media installation that will highlight the unfair and abusive working conditions that garment workers endure in their daily lives. The user will sit in front of a sewing machine and will be instructed to touch, turn, press and push certain parts of the sewing machine. Each action will feature either a garment worker’s story, facts about New York City’s garment industry, or common sounds in a factory. The user will learn about the experiences and hardships of garment workers through the integration of video and audio played back on a computer screen behind the sewing machine. “The Garment Worker” will not only provide facts about the industry but it will also spotlight how garment workers are organizing against these labor abuses. The user can pick up a picket sign which would trigger protests videos to playback on screen. The user will also have the option of recording their own story and signing up to learn more about fighting sweatshop conditions.
Betty Yu is a longtime community organizer, community media activist and mediamaker. Betty’s work as a labor organizer and director of community outreach at a public access television center has shaped her as an artist who’s committed to making art that advances social justice. She received her B.F.A. in Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her short documentary film, “Resilience” which chronicles her mother’s struggles as a garment worker and her fight against sweatshop conditions, screened at various national and international film festivals including the reknown Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Betty sits on the Board of the New York Film and Video Council and has served on the board of Working Films, a media organization that distributes and supports social issue documentary films.