This week I’m in Bangkok, shooting a job for the Asia Foundation.  The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, just, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports Asian initiatives to improve governance, law, and civil society; women’s empowerment; economic reform and development; sustainable development and the environment; and international relations. Drawing on nearly 60 years of experience in Asia, the Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.

The first part of my assignemnt was to shoot images of The TRY ARM brand. Try Arm is a small company making underwear. Although not associated with or funded by The Asia Foundation, Try Arm could be used as an example of one of the inequities that The Asia Foundation is working to correct.

Try Arm originated in the protest camp occupied by Triumph International Thailand Labor Union workers engaged in a months-long struggle against their unlawful dismissal by their employer. After more than 20 years of laboring under exploitative garment factory conditions while serving as a beacon for social movements throughout Thailand, TITLU workers have responded to their employer’s final act of union busting by applying their longstanding commitment to democracy and economic justice to the production process itself.


Combining extensive manufacturing experience with an unwavering social conscience, Triumph’s former union employees have now begun to produce TRY ARM undergarments and swimwear according to principles of sweat-free labor and workers’ self-management. We hope that you enjoy these high quality products in which each TRY ARM cooperative member has an equal, vital stake.


The Try Arm shop is located in an industrial/residential area of Bangkok, just down the street from a Toyota production facility. Try Arm rents the space where they have set up production and shipping areas, as well as sleeping accommodation for some of the women.


During my brief visit of the Try Arm factory, I was amazed at the determination and enthusiasm of the women  working there. Despite very difficult circumstances they are succeeding. Try Arm gives a whole new meaning to the words “sweat free underwear”. If you would like to know more about Try Arm or if you would like to help them by purchasing some underwear, their website is http://tryarm-eng.blogspot.com/ just be sure to click the English tab, unless of course, you can read Thai.

If you would like to get a feel of what it looks and sounds like, here’s a brief, unedited video of women working in the Try Arm factory.

 

Tags: , , ,

3 Responses to “Bangkok Thailand, The Asia Foundation” Subscribe

  1. Aron H August 10, 2010 at 12:11 am #

    Wow..after reading many of your posts..I now really understand what does it mean to be “Humanitarian” photojournalist..You are spreading the words about the power of Humanity in improving the quality of humanity itself..really really a great job…Salute Karl..Cheers..

  2. Svend E. Hansen August 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Great story Karl. I’m in China and cannot view the blogspot site (blocked here), could you send me an email with contact info or other info about TRY ARM?

    Best,
    Svend

  3. Kristina Mendoza July 23, 2017 at 8:03 am #

    I have just came across your blog and I must say it’s really interesting. Thanks for having time to write contents like these. Hoping to see more from you in the future! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveling Photographer

With the holidays right around the corner, you might be wondering what to purchase that special traveling photographer in your […]

India Photo Tour Video

A short film, chronicling the 2017 Jim Cline Photo Tours Pushkar trip. Still images and ground-based video shot using the […]

India: 2017 Pushkar Photo Tour

During our tour we visit the golden city of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is named after its founder Maharawal Jaisal Singh, a […]

India: 2017 Pushkar Photo Tour in Black and White

A selection of images in black and white from my recent Jim Cline Photo Tours, Pushkar trip, ending with some […]

India: Pushkar Fair and the Taj Mahal Photo Tour 2017

During the first full moon of November, India’s Pushkar Fair, Asia’s largest camel and livestock market springs to life in […]

Myanmar Photo Tour Video

A short film, chronicling the 2017 Jim Cline Photo Tours Tribal Myanmar trip. Still images and ground-based video shot using […]