18 Keys

(Collaborator, 2011)

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A video and sculptural installation created in collaboration with Damien Luxe and Jenna Peters-Golden for The Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) Purimshpiel, an annual art extravaganza celebrating the Jewish carnival holiday of Purim.

In 2011, Purim fell on the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, a horrific event in which 146 immigrant workers, mostly Jewish and Italian women, lost their lives as a result of being locked in their workplace as it burned. 18 Keys draws connections between the obstacles confronted by the women of Triangle Shirtwaist and those of women working in the factory, domestic, and sex work industries then and now.

Text from installation:

What was standing in the way of the women and girls trapped in the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory: locked doors. In our work/lives now, what are the locked doors standing between us and liberation? Liberation from harmful working conditions, work restrictions due to documentation/citizenship status, oppressive gender norms, low wages, long hours, lack of respect and  unfair expectations.

While grounded in the legacy of the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory Fire, JFREJ, the success of Domestic Workers Union Bill of Rights and the lessons of Purim,  we manifest our own keys, and unlock the doors standing in our way.

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