For weeks now news trickled into our living rooms;
Toothless mouth of an elderly man gapes open in pain; looking for his daughter under the rubble,
Gone to work this morning, cutting garments for living,
Day in and day out,
Three small children left at home.
Beautiful young woman climbs over the pile of bricks; searching for her sister,
They worked together, side by side; making clothes for exports, to places unknown,
From dusk to down.
She was pregnant, she said,
Her sister was.
Then she covers her eyes inside the red and gold coloured head-cover,
So we can buy trendy clothes for handful of coins and marvel at how cheap they are. Over lattes and brunches on lazy Saturday mornings. Dissatisfied with our lives, our bodies, our children. Only happy with the price of cloth; so cheap you can buy many. And if you do not like them; just threw them into garbage. Easy.
Camera zooms in on a group of men standing in a small circle. Their shirts are thorn open; ribs protruding, hands slicing dusty air.
They shout angrily; building was derelict, everyone knew it, managers forced workers in; to keep up with demands for exports, engineers are corrupt, owner is a gangster who kept a gun in his office.
Our wives and sisters and mothers are dead.
We must change that.
News’ crew moves on. To some other slaughter. To some other sorrow.
- Bangladesh: The Price of Cheap Clothes (drudge.com)
- Western Retailers Blamed For Putting Workers In Harm’s Way (blackchristiannews.com)
- Clothing left behind in US manufacturing resurgence (nbcnews.com)
- Pressure on Bangladesh, retailers to fix factories (news.yahoo.com)
- Is there blood on your T-shirt? Questions from Bangladesh’s tragedy (crikey.com.au)
- VIDEO: Are shoppers concerned about Bangladesh? (bbc.co.uk)