Sandra Niessen on anthropology, anger and activism
In this episode you meet Sandra Niessen – anthropologist and activist, who's repeatedly called out both the global western fashion industry for its imperialism and fashion studies for its biases and othering – using her decades of field work among the Batak in Indonesia, to ground her increasingly direct critique. Sandra Niessen recently published a manifesto for Degrowth, which urges a process of De-Fashion.
For The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education 2023, we've taken up this term for an exploration of De-Fashioning education, a critical thinking and making conference that wants to champion different fashion educational cultures and explore how to unmake global western fashion education, which has co-opted a fashion system in which so much is wrong, so many are left out, and so few profit – to adapt Halberstan.
Fashion is a great teacher talks to her about becoming an activist instructor, and getting angrier with age, the power of connecting the potential and limits of anthropology, addressing the Colonialism in one’s own work and freeing ourselves from the shackles of limitations to our imagination.
Interview: Renate Stauss
Editorial assistant: Chantz Norris
Sound editor: Moritz Bailly
Music by: Johannes von Weizsäcker
Graphic by: Studio Regular