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MATERIAL INTERVENTIONS: Indonesian DIY Fashion and the Regime of the Global Brand

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ABSTRACT

In the global neoliberal economy, material and immaterial production increasingly happen on opposite ends of the world where they are assigned different social and economic value and serve to perpetuate stark inequality between increasingly large, transnational corporations and small, local manufacturers. Not everyone, however, accepts the terms of this arrangement. This article chronicles the efforts of Indonesian DIY fashion labels to undermine the global regime of immaterial labor. It argues that DIYers challenge neoliberal business as usual in at least three ways: (1) by seizing the means of material production and making garments on their own terms; (2) by recombining material and immaterial processes of production into a single continuous act; and (3) by treating the brand—the symbolic, legitimizing force of labor inequality—not as the active subject of global capital it has no doubt become, but as an object, ripe for appropriation and manipulation. [brands, trademark, fashion, youth, immaterial labor, circulation, globalization, Indonesia]

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