T-Shirt Travels takes us from our local charity bin to the remote fishing villages in Southern Africa to introduce us to a people desperate to do anything to make ends meet. Focusing on Zambia, this journey investigates the second hand clothes business and seeks to understand the growing inequalities that exist between the first and third worlds.
T-shirt Travels explores how a continent rich with natural resources and human potential has become the dumping ground for our old clothes and discarded goods.
In sharing the struggle of a population that finds itself growing poorer and poorer, T-shirt Travels, uncovers the enduring spirit and resilience of these people.
The documentary reveals how this poverty is tied to obstacles imposed by third world debt and the harsh economic conditions dictated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In Zambia, as we learn from the people in the documentary, selling second hand clothes becomes one way to earn enough money to survive. It allows Africans to explain the challenges they face in a global economy.
The journey begins in the streets of the United States, where clothes are dropped off in the charity bins, and continues to an Indian importer Mr. Patel in Zambia, who then sells them to individual businesspeople. We meet Luka, who at 19 years old must support his family by selling and trading clothes in remote part of western Zambia. Through his story we see how our old clothes constitute a backbone of Zambia's growing informal economy and provide a livelihood for many.
In order to connect the lives of individuals with the larger economic problems of trade, debt and development, and to put the argument in a historical context, the documentary includes interviews with a number of experts in the fields of banking, economics and aid. These include amongst others; Dr, Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia, Mr. Madavo, Vice President Africa Region, World Bank, Professor Jeffery Sachs, Harvard University and Dr. Richard Jolly, Senior Advisor at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
T-shirt Travels was made through the Sports Humanitarian Group, a not-for-profit, with funding from ITVS, Soros Documentary Fund, The Grubman Compton Foundation, The Waylen Foundation, The International Foundation for Arts & Culture and many other generous individuals.
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