Warmly welcome online or on location in Uddebo, 12-13 September 2020

The second edition of this seminar on artistic, literary and activist practises relating to textile production in a Swedish, rural setting is coming up soon.

It is free for all and open to public!

This year we try to make most activities accessible live via link.

On the first day we give attention to the global textile industry system and the costs of cheap fashion.

We will talk about todays working conditions of garment factory workers and counter-strategies with the unionists and activists Anton Marcus, Ayomi Jayanthi Wickramasekara and Padmini Weerasuriya from Free Trade Zones in Sri Lanka, Swedish artist Jesper Nordahl, and journalist and author Gunilla Ander.

We will try to experience the daily life of textile labor in different times and places since the end of the 18th century until now, through a workshop where we read a weave of text.

The second day focuses on seeking possibilities of local sustainability. Designing D-I-Y functional clothing aimed for outdoor gardening work. In the afternoon we will be walking to flax fields; Hillevi Skoglund, regional handicraft advisor, running the project 1KVM lin (1 m² flax) will join us.

Book free ticket


Generously supported by

Kulturrådet, Tore G Wärenstams stiftelse, Boråsregionen Kommunalförbundet Sjuhärad, Västra Götalandsregionen, Tranemo Kommun, Studeifrämjandet.


10:00-12:30 We will learn about Free Trade Zones, green-washing, the role of art and culture for garment factory workers.

14:00-16:00 A reading of texts as a weaving of voices from different times and places. Welcome to participate with a text of about one page.


10:00-12:30 A D-I-Y design workshop. Drawing and thinking together about making plastic-free gardening work wear.

14:00-16:00 Outdoors in Uddebo. Walking and talking. Exploring Art, handicraft and farming relating to flax (lin) Anyone who like can also try out threshing flax.

Invited participants: Alke Schmidt, Anton Marcus, Ayomi Jayanthi Wickremasekara, Berith Stennabb, Christin Wahlström Eriksson, Gunilla Ander, Hillevi Skoglund, Jesper Nordahl, Linnea Rosenqvist, Maja Gecić, Marie Hållander, Melissa Vandenberg, Padmini Weerasooriya, Tailor as Rebel.

Book free ticket




Session I 12/9 2020

The Women’s Centre (music video)

4 min excerpt from the video Katunayake Free Trade Zone, Music by the Women’s Centre (15 min, Jesper Nordahl, 2006). Linked to full video on vimeo.

The footage is recorded in the Katunayake Free Trade Zone in Sri Lanka. The music is written and performed by the Women’s Centres music group that consists of workers from the free trade zone.

The Women’s Centre

(video, 43 min. Jesper Nordahl, 2006). Linked to vimeo.

The Women’s Centre is based on a group interview with women workers and activists

at the Women’s Centre at Katunayake Free Trade Zone in Sri Lanka. The video addresses the work of the Women’s Centre; resistance and strategies to effect social change; as well as circumstances and politics around the free trade zones, gender politics and women rights in the zone and the society.

(78 min. Jesper Nordahl, 2012). Linked to vimeo.

The video is based on a drama rehearsal of the play "Yakkoo" by the Women's Centre drama group. The Women’s Centre consists of women workers and activists from the Free Trade Zones in Sri Lanka. The video contains clips from the rehearsal, interviews and poetry with lawyers, activists, researchers etc. and addresses gender as central element of broader social, economic and political issues.

Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees’ Union: Anton Marcus

(47 min. Jesper Nordahl, 2006). Linked to vimeo.

The video is based on an interview with Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union, about the Union work, the social and political effects of the Free Trade Zones and the structural adjustment policies initiated by WB (World Bank), IMF (International Monetary Fund) in Sri Lanka in 1978.

Presentation video by Padmini Weerasooriya, Women's Centre Sri Lanka

(9 min. Padmini Weerasooriya, 2020). Linked to vimeo.

Silence, people at work! (people at work, speak!)

(13 min. Stina Östberg, 2011). Linked to vimeo.

Session II 12/9 2020

Text weaving workshop. This multilingual work will continue to grow, a chronological narrative of our relation to textile work through time and how it moves globally.

Session III 13/9 2020

Trying to draw and think together about design and local materials for plastic-free, water-repellant do-it-yourself work wear.

Session IIII 13/9 2020

Outdoor activity in Uddebo. Sunday afternoon. Walking and talking, with visual artist Christin Wahlström Eriksson and regional handicraft advisor Hillevi Skoglund, we (a group of eight people) visited a local hobby farmer, Pontus, who wants to make the whole process from cultivating to weaving. Exploring contemporary art, handicraft, tradition, history and farming relating to flax (lin).


(4 min. Berith Stennabb, 2020).

The 22nd crochet ritual in a series of artistic collaborations within the work ANOMICHOLISTIC. A distance greeting in a time of pandemic.

Anomic = Socially unstable, alienated, and disorganized.

Holistic = Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.

"The ritual reveals contradictions. The blue color of the flax flower as a healing color if we choose to see the ritual holistically. Or the blue-colored hands – a picture of the dirty textile dye industry that we never fully understand here on the other side, the color that plagues millions of people's drinking water every day and that causes carcinogenic diseases for those who handle the color of the textiles on a daily basis..."

"Linen thread has cleansing and healing properties and has existed with us as one of the world's oldest cultivated plants. Linen with its extraordinary properties was often used in ceremonial rituals in past times. My contemporary linen thread ritual is a greeting to everyone who needs movements and breathing that heals. With warmest regards for continued prosperity and health / ANOMICHOLISTIC"

The thread crocheted in the video is a sisal harvest thread. The mask is crocheted with flax thread. The soundscape in the video, as well as the mask is made by Berith Stennabb.