Graduate students tackle Common Experience theme with class documentary

Where Am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes is a book by Kelsey Timmerman that was the inspiration for this documentary which is a production of the spring 2013 Documentaries for Digital Media class in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

The book was part of the Texas State University 2012-2013 Common Experience program, A Global Odyssey: Exploring Our Connections to the Changing World. In the book, Timmerman travels to the factories in countries that make the clothing most Americans wear, and discovers that most of the workers are paid extremely low wages for 12-to-18-hour workdays. They have no benefits and in most cases, despite the long hours, can barely make ends meet.

This documentary attempts to make that global issue local. Students worked in teams on topics they found within the broad overall subject. The five teams each produced a 4-5 minute segment on their topic which they put together to make the 23-minute documentary shown below:

Where Are You Wearing? from SJMC at Texas State University on Vimeo.

The following are the teams and their topics for the documentary:

Team 1

Topic: What is the difference between organic and non-organic clothing? What are the pros and cons in terms of the environment, health, and cost.

Title of segment: The Fabric of Our Lives

Producers: Katie Dudley, Sherry Klein, Emily Lyons

Team 2

Topic: An alternative to buying new is buying recycled clothing. This story focuses on an Austin woman who makes and sells clothing from recycled materials.

Title of segment: Material Girl

Producers: Jordan Mueller, Brandon Simmons, Ryan Stewart, Matt Wood

Team 3

Topic: Where are Texas State students wearing? Do they know that their clothes may come from sweatshops where workers are paid next to nothing?

Title of segment: Made in …

Poducers: Brittany Black, Kiana Fitzgerald, Stephanie Guzman

Team 4

Topic: Where do Texas State University athletic uniforms come from?

Title of segment: Where Are Bobcat Athletes Wearing?

Producers: Valene Bummara, Kristina Kenney, Ashley Vasquez, Kristie Vela

Team 5

Topic: A student group at the University of Texas at Austin successfully campaigned to change school policy on where university branded clothing is made. Can students at other schools do the same?

Title of segment: Students Against Sweatshops

Producers: Jacob Ehrnstein, Eva Fuentes, Femi Omoni, Joshua Twilligear

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Instructor: Dr. Salwa Khan Copyright 2013, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Texas State University

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