Ethical fashions place renewed emphasis and value on sustainable materials and artisanal manufacture in a bid to address the environmental impact and labor exploitation of the fashion industry. Discussed as “revalorizing indigenous aesthetics and materials,” alpaca wool has been casted as a sustainable, luxury material in fashion worlds. This emphasis on material has shifted the focus from the visible elements of garments to the textures made with alpaca wool and to obtaining the right _feel_ of a garment. In doing so, I argue, fashion actors, who both seek to “respect culture” and accrue value from tejedoras’ skill and material knowledge, open the door for Andean material and animal ontologies to become part of these capitalist supply chains.
Patricia Astacio is an anthropologist and filmmaker whose scholarly research and creative practice develops in the folds between ethnography, critical theory, sensory ethnography, and the documentary arts. Her more recent works explore the nexus between capitalist “ethical” industries and indigenous aesthetics, knowledges and labor in neoliberal, post-authoritarian Peru. Patricia is a co-editor of the Multimodal Anthropology section of American Anthropologist and an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at Brandeis University.
The event series of WARP addresses the relations and linkages of knowledge in research on material culture, curation, technology, and art through lectures and workshops.
You can also participate online via Zoom. Please find the link and the programme of the event series here: https://www.kulturtechnik.hu-berlin.de/en/warp/