Carole Frances Lung


Made in Haiti

“The apparel of this god is in keeping with his people, he likes to dress himself in an old black overcoat, torn old black hat with a high crown and worn-out black pants.” Pg. 220.                        
                         Feel My Horse.  Zora Neale Hurston

In response to Haiti’s potential for becoming the next victim of multinational apparel manufacturers, Frau Fiber appointed her self “special envoy to Haiti, apparel workers”, and set out to explore the possibilities of using Pepe as a resource for creating a sustainable garment industry in Haiti. Upon her arrival she was introduced to Jonas La Base, a tailor, painter, photographer and all around Renaissance man. Jonas agreed to participate in the project, and became the local project manager.  Jonas secured, sewing machines, Pepe, had a table built, and hired an assistant, Mademoiselle Gina. Jonas was paid $50 a day; Mademoiselle Gina an apprentice was paid $7 plus food. They worked together for 8 days, produced 30 garments, inspired by the artwork of the Grand Rue. The garments were exhibited and ten pieces were sold at the Ghetto Biennale, to the international community, artist, academics who were in attendance. It was Frau Fiber hope to develop a local audience for the garments, but this has yet to be realized. The most popular garments were, dresses, and embellished shirts. The remaining garments are for sale, at the Contemporary Craft Museum in Portland, Oregon, at the Gestures of Resistance, exhibition, which runs through the end of June. 

A week after the earthquake, Frau Fiber learned and celebrated the survival of Jonas the tailor, and patiently waits for the opportunity to return to Haiti, and get to work, creating another collection of Made in Haiti, fantastically shabby garments.


Carole Frances Lung aka Frau Fiber
Ghetto Biennale
Made in Haiti Documentation

Frau Fiber, textile activist and Jonas La Base, Tailor meet for the first time. PAP Haiti. (photo credit: Rodrirque)


Jonas and Frau Fiber negotiate wages. (MB)

A fine example of “fantastically shabby apparel” Made and worn by Loaco, Grand Rue Artist. Loaco was killed, in PAP Jan 12 2010, during the 7.0 Quake.


Hand painted wage protest – states $5.50 a day is too little to be paid. (FF)


Piles of Pepe at the port dock in PAP. (FF)


Looking for the perfect bale of Pepe. (Myron Beasley)


The shop owner who sold us the bale of Pepe for $100. (FF)


Pepe carried into the Grand Rue. (FF)


The future site of MIH (FF)


Opening the bale of Pepe, behind the locked gate of Eugene’s yard / studio. (MB)


Frau Fiber inspects garments. (MB)


Frau Fiber and Jonas the tailor discuss how to sort the garments. (MB)


Pepe sorting continues (MB)


The Pepe expands as Frau Fiber and Jonas sort these valuable treasures. (MB)


Pepe is re-bundled, by garment type: shirts, trousers, t-shirts, dresses, skirts. The t-shirts were used to construct the shade structure. (MB)


A new outfit from the Pepe bundle. (FF)


Building the worktable (FF)


When a task needs doing, everyone joins in the work. (FF)


Finished table (FF)


Sewing Machines and tabletop stored in Eugene’s yard. (FF)


At the end of the day, the best part of the wood is put away. (FF)


Installing the shade structure (MB)


Installing the shade structure (MB)

Jonas purchases me a kreyol / English /French schoolbook, so I can learn Kreyol and he can improve his English. (FF)


We look to the sculptures surrounding us for inspiration. (FF)


Mademoiselle Gina irons a garment in preparation for re-making. (FF)


Jonas and Mademoiselle Gina, working at the 100 year old treadle machines. (FF)


Sewing surround by Pepe, it is the shade structure, and piled up on the worktable. (FF)


First completed garment. (FF)


The next generation of artist work was also an inspiration. (FF)


Deconstructing a shirtdress. (FF)


The seam skeleton of the shirtdress. (FF)


The label (FF)


A shop window in Petron Ville, interesting choice of mannequins. (FF)


A shirt before (FF)


Jonas demonstrates how to use the iron. (FF)


Jonas busy at the treadle machine, he really can make the machine hum! (FF)


Frau Fiber wipes the sweat from her brow. (MB)


Frau Fiber works on a skirt, which was purchased by the minster of culture. (MB)


Frau Fiber and Jonas negotiate how a garment should be constructed. (MB)


Frau Fiber finishes voodoo dress. (MB)


This garment was originally a sample, never worn. (FF)


Jonas winding a bobbin on a rusty nail positioned on the flywheel, while holding the thread in his mouth! (FF)


Drafting a pattern for the last dress. (FF)


Our audience. (FF)


The ground (FF)


Eugene models, MADE IN HAITI hat, made from denim jean scraps and a waistband. (FF)


MIH ready for sales at the GB. (FF)


Nancy tries on the Dickies shirtdress. (FF)


Inside MIH booth (FF)


Leah Gordon tries on the Voodoo Dress, inspired by the next generation of artist work. Jonas also wears a shirt he made for himself. (FF)


Customers at the GB. (FF)


Sold garments hanging in t-shirt bags ready to be picked up. (FF)


The neighborhood women, pose for a photo. (FF)


GB entrance on the Grand Rue (FF)


Port-a -jons at the GB (FF)


After day one of the GB the shade structure becomes a community gathering place, and Haitian art faire. (FF)


MIH customer wearing his hat. (FF)


The minister of culture (MB)


Frau Fiber meets the minister of culture; she replies this is good for my people. (MB)