Keller Easterling

Filmmaker Ursula Biemann has traveled to some of the most extreme and divergent places in the world to discover the same thing. In Performing the Border, she shot valuable footage of young women employed in Maquiladoras on the US-Mexico border. They are seen going to work on foot or in a bus, carrying lunch boxes, talking and laughing. But for changes in costume, Biemann captures similar images in a segment of her new film, X-Mission titled The Refugee Industrial Complex. Young Middle Eastern workers wearing jilbab and head scarves are employed in another sort of factory. They talk and laugh as they walk to work or wait for buses. They deftly sew flesh-colored girdles and racer-back sports bras in fluorescently lit factories that are part of a Qualifying Industrial Zones or QIZ.