THREADBARE

2016-11-11-21-30-40A seven-year, three-continent project has finally come to a close, and we at Ladydrawers HQ just wanted to say thanks! With your support we put out—and survived touring with—a massively complex work of comics journalism that tracks the pernicious influence of the garment industry across international borders and into the streets and bedrooms of women around the world. (Standout sex-workers rights site Tits & Sass named it to a list of the year’s Best Investigative Reporting on Sex Work, and says it “connects all the threads of industrial and imperialist abuses, and presents a seamless and ugly portrait of an imperialism that never died, only changing to better fit the times—an imperialism which is still at the heart of so many exploitations and abuses worldwide.” Read the whole thoughtful conversation here.)

A heartfelt thank you for giving a difficult project life!

On Censorship

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Ladies and Gentlemen and Others,

The Ladydrawers are pleased to announce that, several months ago, we were offered the opportunity to publish the first of our International Comics Survey findings at PEN America. Here’s an excerpt from Anne Elizabeth Moore’s essay introducing the three strips:

That there are few recognizable visual cues associated with censorship is one reason the topic receives such short shrift in our brand-focused, social media-infused culture. Another is that the topic is nearly impossible to address with objectivity, a concept particularly beloved by those who impose limits on speech and speakers: if a censoring body refuses to ‘balance out’ a censored creator’s tale, even allegations of censorship can quickly be silenced. This situation can be reversed, too: creators often feel silenced when editors suggest changes to work, even when the changes were intended to improve it. Silencing seems a wholly subjective experience.

Read the entirety of “Silenced Without Proof” (September 2016) at PEN America’s site, published in recognition of Banned Books Week. The essay introduced three comics compiling original data on censorship, silencing, and disability among international comics creators, including Censored, with Elke Renate Steiner and Fran Syass; But That’s Not Censorship!!, with Hanna-Pirita Lehkonen, Sheika Lugtu and Fran Syass; and The Amazing Adventures of the Censor-Ship, with Sheika Lugtu and Fran Syass.

 

Kuti Kuti, Cutie

kuti40_kansiDid you know Anne Elizabeth Moore and Esther Pearl Watson collaborated on the very first Ladydrawers strip together way back in 2010? Well it was collected into the latest edition of the rad, international anthology Kuti Kuti—the feminist issue, with a cover drawn by our superbestie Emmi Valveand you can download it here.

THREADBARE launch events

We’ve been so busy winning houses for comics and prepping for CAKE and the AMC that we’ve barely had time to attend our own book-launch events, much less post pics from them! Still they were quite fun, and we wanted to share the love.

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The pre-release panel talk at the Evanston Literary Festival, with Özge Samanci and Keiler Roberts, moderated by Brian Cremins.

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The cashier’s station at Women and Children First for the booklaunch. Rivven brought all the collaborative zines we’ve made together over the last year!

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AEM presents an overview of the book, the garment industry, and the particularly negative impact anti-trafficking organizations have had on Chicago sex workers. 

We were thrilled to be joined at the Women & Children First event by SWOP-Chicago’s Serpent Libertine, who is also interviewed (extensively) in the book. We even held a raffle and raised over zero dollars for SWOP-Chicago’s educational and legal support efforts! (We forgot to count it, but we greatly appreciated your donations!)

DJWCF

Delia Jean gives an excellent intro to making comics journalism, as well as the unique difficulties facing those of us who want to depict the experiences of sex workers accurately, despite very few other media representations to turn to for inspiration or guidance. 

Great LA Times writeup!

Carolina Miranda at the LA Times wrote up a fantastic piece on our new book:

The collected reports look at the history of the trade, the lives of those employed in it (from sweatshop workers to retail staff to models) to the high human cost of fast fashion — which has put pressure on manufacturers to churn out ever cheaper clothes at ever faster rates.

“People faint on the factory floor,” Moore says. “They physically cannot keep up with the workload.”

“Threadbare’s” drawings by Leela Corman, Julia Gfrörer, Simon Häussle, Delia Jean, Ellen Lindner and Melissa Mendes allow Moore to engage with readers about complex (and often dry) material that would be infinitely more difficult to communicate with words alone.

Thanks for taking the time to credit each of the stellar artists, Carolina! Not to mention really thinking about what makes comics journalism so effective.

“Threadbare” is not light reading. But the comics format makes an opaque topic artfully illuminating. We may never visit the inside of a sweatshop. But the drawings take us right inside, amid the dusty piles of fabric and the whir of sewing machines.

Figge installation II

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Last week we were invited to the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa (see details here) to install an oral history window mural entitled Let’s Chat About Civil Rights / Let’s Chat About Civic Memory. Here are a few process shots, with Sheika Lugtu, Melissa Mendes, Chris Reno, and Tessa Pozzi working on the mural. (Anne Elizabeth Moore was behind the camera.)

 

SWOP Behind Bars

We were honored to be asked to donate a copy of Threadbare: Clothes, Sex, and Trafficking to this amazing project that seeks to put books about sex work and sex workers’ rights in the Lowell Women’s Correctional Institution in Ocala, FL.

Here are a few more details, via email from one of the organizers:

SWOP Behind Bars has been created to create a connection between people who are imprisoned and our amazing community of sex workers activists and advocates. We have been invited to participate in the creation of a pilot program in Lowell Womens Prison in Ocala Florida … that seeks to provide resources for people who will be released within the next 24 months.

This is a really big deal as it is quite unusual for a prison to allow – and in this case encourage – sex worker friendly material freely accessible in the prison library.

Please also note that the website for the project states:

You may send books that do not have anything to do with sex work or sex worker rights.  The ladies like novels, poetry, short stories, self help books, biographies, historical fiction and non-fiction, auto-biographies, GED study guides and How-To or DIY manuals. The program directors have encouraged us to send books on addiction and recovery as well.

Perhaps you have a few titles that might work in the library? Get in touch.