Ofong Ufok was developed by the artist with immigrant communities in New York, notably Stitch Buffalo, a textile centre located near the artist’s studio, that empowers refugee and immigrant women by giving them opportunities to create handcrafted goods and gain independence.
Victoria collaborated closely with community members, ensuring they are fairly compensated for their contributions. Each piece of clothing holds a unique tale, allowing the participants’ stories to become a part of the artwork. Victoria says, “I was interested in questioning notions of labour, and the role of immigrants in labour productivity. The piece took us about 3000 hours to produce across the period of 5 – 6 months. Working with used clothes was also significant as I began to consider how fast fashion is produced mostly in the global south under repressive conditions. These clothes end up in landfills, having a huge impact on the environment.” Coming from Nigeria, Victoria has seen that impact at first hand in the many used clothing markets and landfill dumps.
To hear more about this work, listen to Victoria’s conversation with artist Ibukun Baldwin and Amber Butchart in Episode 6 of the Cloth Cultures podcast, Season 3
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