We treated ourselves to a few days at the House of MG- I think it is my favourite hotel ever....food is fabulous, ambienece wonderful
They have bought up the beautiful old building next door....so soon there will be even more wonderful spaces to hang out in...
and then onto the confernce an initiative of the Austalian Indian Design Project - Sangam
so inspiring...and mind boggling- a lot to think about.
First though: Praveen came- quite nervously at first...he has not been to school so rocking up at University scared him, but he is dedicated to what we are doing, networking and learning more are important for us - so there he was. I am so proud of him.
His comment was- all the quick English was a bit of a headache for him to keep up with but it was worth it - good to see people of all levels working together from grassroots like us to contact with the highest reaches of governement
Next is a women, I am sorry for my rudeness I did not get her name, she has worked for many years with the handloom industrylobbying for support and a better deal for handweavers... and then there is Irfan Bhai [Irfan Brother or as he is more formally known Dr Irfan Khatri a natural dye and blockprint master who has been recognized De Monford University for his expertise and tireless education of others in his field...something like 100 PhD sutudents have visited him over the years]. he was a good force to keep things real- it is the artisans and their conditions we need to look at first or this whole exercise will simply become something for museums- dead and dusty crafts.
National Institute of Design: Ahmedabad was our host- fabulous place, with a hands on approach to education.
Who else did we meet?
WOW! what an inspiring list, most important and relevant to us were people working with people like we do,
Medhavi Gandhi of Happy Hands in Delhi
Vandana Agrawal of Gramshree in Ahmedabad
Kala Raksha in Kutchh
The very passionate Ranwir of Shahaj in eastern Gurjurat
Bina Rao of Creative Bee...she offered the last words of the group discussions pointing out the URGENCY these things need to be addressed- we are loosing skilled artisans, world heritage treasures of experience held in their hands each and everyday....through lack of opportunity they are leaving home, travelling to cities and living in slums and building roads...what a waste
These are just a few of the people we met personally, some working with self help groups, some running social enterprise [fair trade business]- all inspiring and most have been at this a long time...so inspiring they still have their sanity and their passion- we migth be just beginning but we can do it too.
Jugal Bandi exhibition- we were admiring their work and bubbling with excitement because on our way home we were popping into to see our mate Hemant of Sakshi near Jaipur
Om-ji was printing this beautiful Chanderi silk cotton sari...the white is discharge paste so when washed this will become a beautiful subtle white in the design....Chanderi weaves almost float on air...
what a truely inspiring and fortuitous week of meeting passionate people working with good heart...lucky, lucky us :)
May your week hold such pleasures