ASTITVA PROJECT

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SUMMARY OF A SOLO PROJECT I UNDERTOOK IN 2016/2017
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SELF-FUNDED PROJECT
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Thanks to all the buyers on WOVENSOULS
whose generous purchases made it financially possible
to send the elevator back down
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INTRODUCTION
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Over the past decade, in my journeys pursuing traditional textiles of vanishing cultures, I have come across several textile cultures that are breathing their last breath.
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Mothers are not passing on the skills to their daughters as the time spent on these skills is now being consumed by other interesting things such as television or other more financially rewarding things such as small jobs. As the urban world around them gets closer and closer to their habitat and as their desires expand, the first casualty in the hurry to catch up with the rest of the world, is their traditional lifestyle. And the most time-consuming non-essential aspects are the ones to be given up first. This includes the substitution of traditional textiles by factory made clothing leading to the eventual extinction of skills.

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As an outsider I have watched and lamented. And felt helpless as it was only natural for them to want what others have. Who are we to stop them from switching to the consumption of new mass-produced products.

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But over time it became clear that they might still continue with their old traditions if a) they are made to feel pride in their old lifestyle and b) continuing those traditions offers equal financial rewards as any other  occupation.

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This has been seen in some communities and with external intervention by change agents, this devastation has been prevented.

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So sometime in 2014 I resolved to be that change agent and try to make a small difference. If over the years I can rescue several traditional textile art skills, that will be great, but if I can rescue even one and make it survive until the next generation, I will consider this project successful.
With this goal I embarked on the ASTITVA project.
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In March 2017,
one native textile art skill in one small community
was passed on from one generation to the next.
This page describes that effort.
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Read more...
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