Culture, Heritage and Sustainability

Culture, Heritage and Sustainability

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Nottingham Trent University, School of Art and Design

Supported by British Academy

On 23 March I travelled to Nottingham to attend a workshop on Indian craft, heritage and sustainability.  The speakers were Sandy Black, Charlote Kwon, Abduljabbar Khatri, Eiluned Edwards, Divia Patel, Ritu Sethi, Ruth Clifford and Jatin Bhatt.

In the beginning of the workshop Sandy Black’s talk emphasised on craft textiles in a global fashion industry. She explains the importance of preserving traditional crafts and its inclusion in the global fashion world.

During the entire workshop speakers focused on the collaborative efforts in the craft industry, both in India and the UK.

The traditional craft artist Abduljabbar explained the hardship to maintain crafts such as hand block printing. Also he described technological advancements, which are threats to traditional crafts and lead to unemployment and poverty. He explained in the villages in an area called Kutch in Gujarat how the production of cotton and organic pigments is mainly seasonal highly depended on the monsoon season.

Divia Patel spoke about the role of museums in engaging people into the realm of craft heritage and its importance in the contemporary society.

Jatin Bhatt made a point to include traditional crafts skills in the university system. This could uplift students and play an important role in job creation.

The workshop was a very important event, which I can highly relate as an artist.

In the workshop some of the speakers point out the issue of minimum wages in India is not properly regulated. Therefore traditional artists face poverty and, in some cases, leads to modern day slavery.

However, there were entrepreneurs who discussed the issue of promoting crafts, and what paths to promote crafts the global fashion industry could adapt.