In our new handicraft project, focus is, not surprisingly, on the work of the hand. But equally important is it to see its connection to an open observation of the real conditions that can connect and awake imagination and thus create development, with the perspective of better products. Skills provide a sense of dignity because “I can” – and I can beproud of being a crafts(wo)man. In the project, forgotten crafts are revived or the old existing crafts are strengthened. With greater attention and new strong skills, it is the hope that the villagers will be able to produce even better and more durable items for home use so that they do not have to buy them on the market. Eventually they might also be able to sell their items and create an extra source of income.

Initially, we test this idea in a small pilot project with a small grant from CISU. The project was launched in October 2018 and runs until spring 2020. It will be implemented in Tantipara, Bankura district in West Bengal, with participants counting both professional textile craftsmen (weavers, dyers, printers and “embroiderers”) and young girls who have only modest experience of sewing and crocheting. Three resources from iiIINTERest (Gitte, Bodil and Katrine) periodically organize workshops with the participants, while the ongoing support is provided by Ahead Initiatives and a local partner.

For more information on the project click here.