Garment factory fires happen regularly in Bangladesh; the Tazreen Fashion Factory fire of November 2012 caught the world's attention, but there have been many others since. The collapse of Rana Plaza on April 24, 2013, was the most lethal disaster in the history of the garment industry, and the deadliest structural failure in modern history.
There is a livid, direct line from the Triangle fire in 1911 to these recent disasters in Bangladesh. Greed, indifference, lack of regulations and lax enforcement of what regulations exist, the sense that these young workers are somehow anonymous, interchangeable, replaceable--all these lay the foundation of avoidable tragedy. This quilt offers viewers some sense of the beauty, fragility, and shared humanity of these lost young lives--it demands a heightened recognition of our interconnectedness and inescapable moral responsibility to one another.