Special Projects > The Faja Project, 2005-2006

World Bank Faja
World Bank Faja
Woven Faja, Embroidered Logo
10" x 72"

Seemingly simple, quite complex.

This was a hard one to communicate to Rosa. Or rather, what I thought was simple, was actually not. I had wanted her to stop the white stripes in the center of the faja to make way for the logo. I don't think this worked in the weaving process, and Hilaria ended up embroidering over in black. The language gap, and my ensuing inability to explain the method behind my madness to Rosa, was humbling. I'm sure that it had little meaning to her life except that I was an odd stranger temporarily employing her labor. I could not elaborate on the greater meaning of my project to her.

I am not an economist. I do know that the World Bank and IMF play significant roles in the development policies and practices of the global south, with next to no input from women like Rosa. Like me, they cannot explain the meaning of their projects to her. A road and electricity arrive, and soon sodas, junk food, alcohol, and western clothing follow. She can now take a bus to the city to look for work in a market economy.