Amidst the threads, our names become.

In collaboration with Eunice Pais and Anabel Poh
Installation view Fashion as Encounters, State of Fashion Biennale, Arnhem, 2022

Amidst the threads, our names become. is a collaborative project and a multidisciplinary installation exploring fragmented narratives on textile, fashion, and material culture through a diasporic lens. The project aims to challenge Eurocentric narratives around displaced identities, cultural symbolisms, labor, and the space held for such stories to exist.

The work comprises a three-channel video installation, a metal structure, textiles, and photographies. The textiles used in the installation are traditional capulanas from Mozambique and batik from Singapore, made with the same wax resist dyeing technique which originated from Indonesia and travelled through Dutch Colonialism. By deconstructing these textiles, the fabrics turn to threads, blurring boundaries, becoming a form of decolonizing these textiles.

The videos explore narratives of three protagonists: Rosa, a Mozambican-born residing in Portugal who weaves memories, symbols, and transformation in her narration; Anabel, a textile designer taking us on a journey of care, intricate labor and textile culture; and Phuong, a Vietnamese woman living in Germany who guides us through her story of opening her own fashion store, exemplifying dreams that come to fruition.

The work engages the plurality of existence and possibilities, challenging and questioning who holds the power to tell and curate memories, stories, and identities. By revealing the emotional, cultural, and feminist labor behind our garments, the project cultivates a meaningful relationship with the textiles around us.

Video stills, Amidst the threads, our names become.
Photos: Eva Broekema