From the mountains of Laos to the town of Luang Prabang, the Village Market Fair we hosted a couple of weeks ago was a success! If we may say so ourselves… The artisans from our Village Weavers Project had a great time, we had a great time and we hope all those who stopped by had a great time! And for those who couldn’t make it (for obvious reasons), we hope our videos and pictures made you travel to Laos for a weekend…
Luang Prabang is full of stories. Textiles, temples, ceremonies, rituals and conversations convey stories of Lao culture. As Lao culture evolves, film is emerging as a contemporary medium for storytelling, and the Luang Prabang Film Festival is at the forefront of nurturing modern storytellers and cinema in Laos and across Southeast Asia.
Jo Smith, Ock Pop Tok co-founder, regales us with the story of a spontaneous journey to Houaphan Province in northeastern Laos. This journey jumpstarted the Village Weavers Project, a dynamic model for village-based collaborations. Since the trip, the Village Weavers Project has evolved and grown, helping Lao women weavers and artisans access markets and preserve their cultural traditions.
What is “ethical jewelry”? What is fairly mined, or fairmined, gold? In this episode, renowned jewelry designer Pippa Small takes us inside artisan studios in Kabul, Yangon and Amman, shares her insights on the meaning of ethical jewelry and discusses the importance and value of collaborating with artisans in their home communities. Pippa Small is dedicated to building a conscientious and ethical marketplace.
Susan Hull Walker and IBU Movement are at the forefront of galvanising the global artisan community. Susan’s work empowers and connects people—in particular women—at all levels, from a village-based artisan to a woman in corporate or suburban America. Through her work with IBU Movement, and more recently IBU Foundation, Susan is finding common ground for women from far away places and disparate experiences to come together meaningfully.
Why is Myanmar difficult terrain for artisans? Plastic upcycling genius Peter Pau Son, founder of Shin Thant Plastics, and Ulla Kroeber, co-founder and lead designer at Hla Day, a crafts and design organisation in Yangon, helps us understand the challenges of doing business in Myanmar.
Lao textiles are rich in symbols and motifs. Some motifs represent animals borrowed from legends and stories. One famous character in Lao textiles is the siho, which is part lion and part elephant. Follow us into the jungle of MandaLao Elephant Conservation and learn more about elephants in real life and textiles.
Palestinian embroidery is a traditional craft dating back centuries. Traditionally used on garments and pillows for the home, this embroidery is rich with motifs and stories of Palestinian culture, nature and village life. Kissweh, a craft enterprise focusing on these embroidery techniques, provides income opportunities for women living in Palestinian refugee camps inside Lebanon.
Explore the pottery tradition of Oaxaca, Mexico with Kitzia Barrera, co-founder of Innovando la Tradición and Colectivo 1050 Grados. An industrial designer by training, Kitzia decided to work with indigenous artisans in an effort to merge traditional and modern design principles. Through social and participatory design, Kitzia and indigenous communities are working together to revitalise the practice and economy of pottery.
Filmmaker and author Dawa Drolma introduces us to the Khyenle Arts Center where her father and brother are the sixth and seventh generation master of “khyenle”, a method for making lama bronze statues. Based in Dzongsar, an artisan in Tibet’s cultural heartland, Dawa Drolma and her family are working alongside their artisan neighbors to fortify their community economically and spiritually.
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