Maquiladora Murders

So, a young lady asked if she could use this video montage I made for a class at Vassar and posted on my Youtube account like 4 years ago. Honestly, I had pretty much forgotten I had one of those (accounts I mean). I agreed she could. Slight ego boost. Yadda-yadda. Point being that I thought I’d share it here.

The video was part of a larger research project on femicides in Ciudad Juarez. The femicides (women killings) emerge as a phenomenon not secluded to the sweatshops in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but are linked more broadly to places of global production and export in third world countries.

Long story, short: Western corporations send their goods (in pieces) to places like Mexico where they can be assembled for pennies (salary) and exported without tax back to their place of origin and sold at exorbitant prices in places like Nordstroms and Target (etc.). This exploitation of cheap labor results in the hiring (and frequent firing) of women laborers who often have little other employment option. The result is young women traveling hours on a daily basis in places with no public transportation systems in the wee hours of the morning/night in places with little to no viable public safety.

No one “knows” who does the actual killings. In the end, does it really matter? One man was imprisoned for 7 of the murders. Another for 4. Yet the killings continue. To date the estimate is around 600 women missing or found dead in the desert around the city. Yet Global productions sites like these crop up in abundance without thought for human loss.

Visual exploration of the Maquiladora Murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The names are those of those women (as of 2006 – number and names still increasing) who have gone missing and/or been killed in the city.

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2 responses to “Maquiladora Murders

  1. Rebecca – this piece is small but powerful. The list of names is most impressive and match perfectly with the images of families searching for lost daughters, sisters, wives, mothers. I was just involved in V-Day activities that are designed to bring attention and address issues of violence against women all over the world. It appears that we are expendable. Nice work!

  2. I’m quite stirred by your piece Rebecca. Your piece conveys a sense of loss, through your use of images, music and text. The soundtrack in particular, which is just a piano and a voice, is perfect really. I found myself wanting to listen to the lyrics at times, but not so much as to be distracted from the visual aspects. Actually, when I did listen carefully to the lyrics, they fit the piece. I haven’t looked carefully yet for the music credits, did you include them? You must have, I just haven’t found them yet. Anyway, well done! — Carole

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