The aim of this series of independent field studies is to understand the current status of artisans and pencil their position as right-holders.
What is the current status of the custodians and transmitters of traditional textile knowledge?
What are their challenges and dreams?
What is their relationship with their craft?
CHAPTER I - INDIA
Traditional textiles write a story of the world. And textile artisans are tireless narrators of this story.
Since its launch on April 26th 2018 the Cultural Intellectual Property Rights Initiative acts as mediator between the interests of formalized fashion businesses and those of artisans and traditional creative communities: we organized the first Cultural Sustainability in Fashion Workshop in a textile education institution, at the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, Sweden , we are consulting with fashion businesses on how to integrate artisan collaborations in their supply chains and we are freely consulting our members on how to protect and promote the cultural IP rights of the artisans they work with and develop benefit sharing business models.
Whilst the needs and struggles of fashion businesses today are clearly expressed and understood, professional reports on the state of fashion at large appear annually and the industry strives to be a leader in innovation and sustainability, we cannot say the same about the state of the artisans.
Not only is there not enough transparency in understanding their activity, struggles and concerns, but often times the work of artisans is plagiarized by the fashion industry and their creative work is not rightfully valued.
On March 31st 2019 Monica, our founder, started a journey of 60 days throughout India talking to, connecting with and observing the people whose rights the Cultural IP Rights Initiative is advocating for.
She decided to do this field study to hear the voice of the artisans themselves.
As conscious consumers, tourists, artists, academics and entrepreneurs from all fields of business, we should be interested in answers to the following questions:
How did these skilled people learn their craft and what does it mean to them?
What is their relationship with traditional knowledge?
What are their dreams and expectations?
What is the role of the artisan? A creator? A custodian of knowledge? A subordinate?
India was the first natural step.
It this is one of the most important places on earth where traditional textiles are still a living heritage. The Handicraft tradition has sustained generations of people in this country and the Indian state has a Ministry of Textiles that coordinated formulation of policy, export promotion and regulation of textiles, clothing and handicrafts. India also has implemented a system of geographical indications and handicraft trademarks for promoting and protecting traditional crafts.
Secondly, since the launch of the Cultural IP Rights Initiative, the greatest number of volunteers have come from India, and two of our member projects are based in India, with more in the application stage.
This field study employs a unique research perspective, combining direct observation of artisan creation with analysis of the legal standing of the artisan as right holder.
The research process will be documented through photographs and written material which will be publicly available on https://www.culturalintellectualproperty.com/blog and on Medium.
Through this live documentation you will get to meet the artisans and volunteers involved in the research, to the extent they give their consent.
Based on all the information gathered within these 60 days a report will be elaborated aimed at facilitating the access of traditional textile artisans to the global market and inspiring artisans to understand their vital contribution to the survival of the textile heritage of mankind as cultural sustainability enablers.
HOW TO SUPPORT?
This is a fully independent research funded with personal resources, the contributions and priceless support of volunteers and the help of benefactors who believe in empowering artisans worldwide. Become a benefactor by supporting Chapter 1: India of the #OneVoiceforCraft on GoFundme.com