Friday, February 10, 2006

Mardi Gross

The ever-essential writing of Michael Steinberg at Monthly Review's online blog,, alerted us here at FDHQ to an interesting film we hadn't previously heard about: David Redmon's "Mardi Gras: Made in China."

Redmon apparently began his film project with the intention of tracking a single consumer perishable from production to sale on the market. He chose a very symbolically charged commodity: the ubiquitous mardi gras bead. Who knew that this postmodern wampum, the mystical powers of which, within Fat Tuesday's economy of desire and titillation, buys predatory men temporary visual access to the exposed breasts of fellow revellers on the various Bourbon Streets of the USA, is produced by exploited teens in the dark satanic mills of China?

According to the promo lit for Mardi Gras: Made in China":

"Redmon followed his bead-trail of curiosity to the rural region of Fuzhou, China where the bead factory is located in a tax-free Special Economic Zone. After staying with the workers and documenting their everyday life inside a factory compound for two months, government officials in China requested that Redmon immediately leave the factory. Redmon left China and continued his bead-journey to New Orleans during Carnival. Redmon’s purpose was to invite others to be part of a constructive debate about globalization by showing how the beads are transported, consumed, and disposed during their global journey.

Although the film is an invitation to globalization, the significance of the project addresses the vast economic, leisure, and pleasurable inequalities between workers of objects and consumers of objects. It also highlights the differing ways in which gender in the factory and during Carnival is contrasted: young women in China make beads under stringent conditions for young women in the United States to 'go wild.'"

This film seems to really dovetail with a lot of the themes that Femme Feral has been probing over the last few months. We're totally psyched to see it, but are of course prepared for the rage and sadness it will no doubt stir up. Check out the "Mardi Gras: Made in China" website here.

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