Friday, March 25, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, which claimed the lives of 146 garment workers trapped at their machines. Most of the people who died, either consumed by flames, or jumping out of the windows on the ninth floor, were young women, recent immigrants. This is the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of New York City.
Terrible Karma is project Merle Patchett and I put together. The title – Terrible Karma – refers to both the title of a protest song sung by Cambodian female garment workers at a union rally in Phnom Penh (July 2010) and to the idea that events of the garment industry past continue to haunt the present, that they are always coming back.
Merle and I will be out this Friday morning and afternoon (10-2) in downtown Manhattan, at Cooper Square, and near the location of the fire, at Washington Place and Greene Street. Follow the path on the map, and look out for our UHAUL truck, containing the audio-visual installation above. If you’re in town, drop by and spend some time in the back of the truck, feeling the reverberations of the fire, 100 years later.