XL Town shows the hidden side of the textile industry
Daniel Jiménez • 2/22/10 • In the Solidarity Economy Category
What reality is hidden behind the clothes we buy and wear? SETEM Hego Haizea and the Alava company Pikor Theater answer this question through XL Town, a montage that exposes the habits of compulsive and thoughtless consumption of Western citizens, as well as the predatory practices of the major world fashion brands and the sport.
This theatrical show premiered at the end of last January in Vitoria, and since then it has toured the Basque Country. Next Saturday you can see each other again in Muskiz (Vizcaya). Pikor theater also wants to represent his work in other autonomous communities. "The vocation is to travel throughout the state, and hopefully it can also be seen in Latin American festivals, " Miguel Olmeda, director of the company, tells the Positive News.
XL Town is essentially a parody of consumerism and the negative behavior of transnationals in the fashion and sports industry. The author of the text, Jokin Oregi, is committed to show these realities through four different stories. Each of these theatrical pieces offers a different approach to the same theme.
The first part of the work shows the daily life of a person who works in a relocated factory, or maquila, that produces branded sneakers. Next, the show focuses on the methods of the companies to train the executives who direct the production in this type of factories. The third piece is a musical fun that shows a series of people characterized by their irrational and compulsive consumerism in fashion stores. The final act criticizes the tone of the advertising campaigns of these companies, and their characteristic brand cult.
The action takes place in an attractive and dynamic way, with an understandable style for publics of all ages. The tone flees from the panfletary theater, as Olmeda explains. A moralistic theater that handles recipes and threshed messages is a theater with little interest and it is rare that it is accepted by the viewer affirms the director of the company, which adds that the key is that the viewer can be moved and feel reflected in what he sees. It is definitely a bitter humor show, in which contradictory behaviors are sometimes shown and taken to the limit, but that closely resemble real behaviors, as happens for example when we talk about a compulsive consumption .
This initiative is part of the Clean Clothes Campaign, led at the state level by the NGO SETEM in order to raise awareness in society about the problem of abusive practices of large companies in the textile sector. The campaign currently has a presence in 14 European countries, including Spain, where it has been active for more than 13 years.
Photo: XL Town scene. Courtesy of Pikor Theater.