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A GLOBAL NETWORK OF LOCAL FASHIONING COALITIONS
TO DECENTRALISE & DECOLONISE FASHION KNOWLEDGE
CREATION AND SHARING

"To witness the destruction of cultural diversity, is to face a radical reduction of roads into the future. (…) When confronted with all those regions that have been silenced, the task of listening becomes the task of giving back a place in the present, of hosting and emplacing what has been eradicated."
(Rolando Vázquez 2018)

OUR MISSION

The Global Fashioning Assemby (GFA) is a biennial online gathering of local fashion coalitions from around the world to decenter and decolonise knowledge creation and sharing on body fashioning practices and heritages. Initiated in 2021 by the Research Collective on Decoloniality & Fashion (RCDF), it aims to disrupt western-centric global fashion gatherings that often operate as gatekeepers to justify and perpetuate excluding and discriminating logics based on English-centred knowledge validation. Rather than the event hosting the communities, the communities pass on the hosting of the event to ensure self-representation, -determination and governance. 

 

To disrupt peer-reviewing processes and academic formats of western-centric gatherings, there are no selection criteria for the GFA’s hosting communities. Instead, they are identified and invited collectively, through a network of networks. We especially welcome hosting communities from countries often excluded from fashion.

 

Underpinning the GFA are collective ideation, decision-making and execution. Preparations begin two years prior to the next Assembly with the hosting communities meeting (bi)monthly to formulate the overall conceptual framework, thematic scopes, hosting communities, planning, budgeting and funding. Tasks are divided organically with smaller groups taking on different responsibilities. Simultaneously, each hosting community decides on its own two-hour hosting programme, its content(s), format(s), language(s), aesthetics and participants according to its specific experiences and needs.

 

Its multi-stakeholder programme, combining online and offline formats, involves local stakeholders, communities and audiences in a combination of local languages and English. Programmes range from conversations, screenings and workshops to performances, visits and crafts practices, addressing topics of museum collections, crafts knowledges, decolonial creative practices and critical research.

 

In-between hosting sessions, the one-hour Sharing Councils offer crucial opportunities for participants to be deeply present and listen intentionally to each other, to speak with each other, rather than at each other.

 

As a biennial, the GFA is a recurring event aimed at building trust and sustainable long-term relationships between communities from different parts of the world. Inspired by around-the-world assemblies sparked by the grassroots-to-global possibilities of the digital, self-determination at every level of decision-making, content selection, organisational planning, and audience reach ensured that who is speaking, and in what forms these exchanges are happening, disrupts the unequal and exclusionary gatekeeping of conventional global gatherings.

 

Beyond content and geography, systemic changes demand changing the framework by participants hosting the gathering, rather than the gathering hosting participants.

Critique ideas, not people

GFA24

After an exciting first GFA in October 2022, twenty hosting communities are currently preparing a second edition for October 2024. For this next edition, 20 hosting communities in 26 countries, across 6 continents, have committed to host, consisting of 40 hours of local programming and 20 hours of Sharing Councils. This time, the programme will run over a period of one month, which will enable each coalition to host a programme that accommodates their local time zones.

New Zealand Fashion Museum (Aotearoa)

Born Nomad (Kazakhstan)

Pakistan Collective for Decolonial Practice (Pakistan)

Friends of Kheta Crafts India (India)

African Fashion Research Institute (South Africa)

Own Your Culture (Kenya)

Ghana International Fashion Team (Ghana)

The Fashion Liberation Collective North Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Wales)

Witches of the East (Turkey)

Centre for Research of Fashion and Clothing (Croatia)

Austrian Centre for Fashion Research (Austria)

Draadjes van Gedachten (Little Threads of Thoughts) (Belgium)

Research Collective for Decoloniality & Fashion (The Netherlands)

Mendit Research Lab (Russia)

Fashion Act Now (United Kingdom)

Colectivo Malvestidas (Chile)

Abya Yala Coalition (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru)

Moda e Decolonialidade: Encruzilhadas do Sul Global (Brazil)

Cobbled Goods (Canada)

MORE COMING SOON...

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The Global Fashioning Assembly is funded by
the Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industries.

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