Her Dreams Are Bigger


Moving Image,
Interviews with Garment Workers in Bangladesh
Whitechapel Gallery, London
First screened in 2018 as part of an exhibition at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, and then screened again in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. "Her Dreams Are Bigger” shines a thought provoking light on the realities of fast fashion and global concepts of beauty.

In Osman’s words the short film was developed from a trip to Bangladesh where he ‘showed a suitcase full of clothing carrying the label ‘Made in Bangladesh’. These discarded clothes were bought at charity shops in England, to women who worked in the industry. They sat in a circle and started to try on various pieces, taking selfies of each other and posing. I asked them to imagine who their muses were:

“They are tall”, “they look beautiful”, “their hair colour is red”, “they wear different types of dresses which makes them look more beautiful”, “they eat different kinds of food, they only eat fruit, they eat frog, they eat different kinds of snake”, “they’re not black like me, they’re much fairer and very pretty”, “beautiful faces, their lips, they are like dolls”.

The women who make clothes don’t really know who they are making them for. They don’t wear those kinds of clothes, clothes that are put on ships and then off-loaded halfway around the world to wind up in high street stores. That’s fast fashion.’ This allows the viewer an entry point for these workers to be seen as people rather than shadows driving the global capitalist supply chain. Hope and resilience is what drives women to endure the often-appalling conditions of garment factories, and Osman gives us a glimpse into their world which is deeply invisible, is deeply linked with ours in the way we consume. The women in this garment factory dream what they can afford.