Still Thinking About Jasmine Lee
I wrote the below last year at my other blog and, in light of Bloggers Unite on Human Rights Issues this May 15th, I have to admit I still think about the young girl Jasmine Lee. The DVD China Blue by filmmaker Micha Peled seems even more pertinent in light of the issues over the Summer Olympics and more recently the 20/20 piece on the Bodies exhibit using the tortured unclaimed bodies of Chinese prisoners.
Remembering Jasmine Lee
Boy does Peled's 2005 documentary China Blue take major shine off the fashion for the masses apple ( i.e the Top Shop Kate Moss', Target Patrick Robinsons', Gap doo.ri's, etc., of the world). Do people really think about who's actually making these clothes anymore? Are people like Jasmine Lee really making a better life for themselves and their family? Are they happy? They sure didn't look it in the film.
Watching Jasmine Lee is hard. I really wonder where she is now and how she is fairing? One almost wants to write her a letter like she suggested. If you check out the PBS Independent Lens website you can get the scoop on the documentary and how to get a copy on DVD. Even though it isn’t long and rather simple it was extremely moving and as the website says, after watching it I don’t think people can look at clothes the same way ever again. Time and again pieces pop up about sweat shops but they always seem to quickly die down and fade from memory, when is this going to stop? When will quality trump quantity? I find this all rather interesting considering how "green" people and the media have become this year.
Anyway, I'm thinking of turning the banner quote in the film into a T-shirt:
"If you don't work hard today: You'll be looking hard for a new job tomorrow"
I highly recommend this Independent Lens DVD to anyone looking for what really goes on in clothing factories and I hope it keeps people like Jasmine Lee in the minds of all. Visit the films website for a list of links related to China's Human Rights problems.
Image: via PBS.org
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