Making Futures Journal
Agente Costura: A Brigada das Mascaras
“The creation of things by hand leads to a better understanding of democracy, because it reminds us that we have power”
Betsy Greer 
“We can make, thread and weave our values through all that we do. Stitch by stitch we can make a difference. Sometimes we need to unravel an unjust system before we can sew it back together and sometimes we simply need to make do and mend a situation rather than create a revolution”
Sarah Corbett 
How to Mask
Performance has been my channel to advocate for sustainability in the garment industry, worker’s rights, and gender equality. When the stages had to turn off their lights, the Maskerade Brigade was born as a reaction and a content specific project. The mask donations supported numerous organizations in Berlin such as refugee and homeless shelters, organizations caring for the elderly and single mothers, and other support organizations for marginalized groups. If before this pandemic I wanted to sew utilitarian pockets onto all garments, masculine or feminine, to make them democratic, the face covering became a pocket of hope and solidarity.
It again intrigues me how these 40cm of fabric folded in half and wrapped around our face, as a pocket for a filter, can be so historically and socially charged. If in the history of attire pockets belonged to the masculine sphere, if it kept all of the secrets and made private the belongings only of men, the mask hides an even more private sphere, and is not gender specific. In a religious context, the face covering has been strictly a feminine phenomenon, and a major subject of debate concerning women’s rights and freedoms. Face coverings are also associated with vandalism, in Germany a ban to cover one’s face during demonstrations and public events (vermummungsverbot) is in place since 1985, and since 2017 it is also illegal to cover your face while driving. I find it fascinating that now because of health concerns, these laws contradict themselves. As a scenario of surveillance and face recognition becomes prevalent in our society, it becomes official policy to be unrecognizable in public spaces.
The basic form explored in the paper model as derived from the folded trouser was then explored in digital form using CLO3D (Figure 5). Here the relationship between body and form begins to be manifested. The number of layers required in the flat textile-form is finalised (four), but exact design details are not resolved. This design shows the negative space created by the crotch seam in the middle two layers enables a pocket to be built in the form. The digital model at this stage is like a template of a basic flat textile-form design that can be manipulated further and detailed to explore a range of possible resulting expressions depending on the construction method intended to be used.