“Jeremy Seabrook puts together stitch by stitch, thread by thread, a stark picture of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh,” says the review of The Song of the Shirt in Outlook. Reviewer Surabhi Sharma sees the growing similarity between colonial practices and contemporary global economic policies as a result of lax labour laws. One of Seabrook’s key arguments is that, with capital becoming more protean than ever, it wouldn’t be long before the global imperium readies to shift its sites of exploitation in its nomadic cultivation of profit: from Bangladesh to India.
There’s clear indication of this happening with Narendra Modi’s call to ‘Make in India’, which has had many advocates in the media and industry. Sharma warns us that we are already seeing a concerted effort to dismantle India’s labour laws. The book, she says, shows how “the sites of this hectic, unending production reveal an utter disregard for workers’ safety—their wages and homes reveal how abstract the term ‘labour’ is to local manufacturers, the international brands who are the buyers and the countries who are the consumers.”
Read this book before you purchase more shirts and garments this ‘grand festival season’ for hefty discounts.