Arts Of The Working Class Logo

ISSUE 20: OVER MY DEAD BODY

Editorial.

STOP BEING RICH

How to spend it? On another 10k Chanel bag? Oh wait, resolution number 2022 is to rent it; number 2023 is for it to be given for free. The Financial Times asks this every Sunday. Browse the usual and you’ll be flooded with trends. How to navigate desire, boredom, excitement, soothing design, anxiety, status, the upper-class co-worker’s family envy, future expectations, the change I want but which never suits my lifestyle, neon nails, a messy flat, the fucking deja-vu haunting us over and over and over again? The first issue as we enter the third pandemic year encompasses inquiries, commentaries, freestyle research and a critical manual to fashion and its antithesis: anti-waste. It’s a coin that shows two sides of what garments have come to be and represent: the loss of craftsmanship and the dependence on machines in order to repair holes in our shirts, and the (visual) articulation of how class still makes and breaks the lives of people.

OVER MY DEAD BODY. The title – we find it morbidly funny – dwells with two sides of the object of desire par excellence: “My Body”. It tries to discern its value, the value that is created through clothing, and the inexplicable power of accumulation. Value & Profit, Modern Slavery and (In)visible Pollution are the three chapters asking questions to which a recurrent fourth, called “Breaking the Loop”, attempts to respond. It serves as an abolitionist handbook to Loops of Power, the overarching topic of the year 2022.

If sustainability and fashion ever come together, will we have reached nirvana? Or just the end of accelerationism, ready to be replaced by whatever strategy comes next? This issue says what Paris Hilton actually wanted to tell herself: STOP BEING RICH. Stop the madness. Here you’ll find the limits to ethical consumerism and some answers to prevalent grievances from all the mental and material pollution created through what we wear. We certainly cannot respond to how to spend it individually.

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