CO-DESIGN – WORKING WITH ARTISANS
FASHION FOR CHANGE presented by Abeer Tahir
Women empowerment through fashion
CHO’JAC ITEMS by Thomas Kilian Bruderer
THE STORY OF NORTHERN BANGLADESH – RIVER ISLAND by Imam Hassan
Before joining weißensee kunsthochschule berlin as a student, Abeer Tahir organised training sessions for women from very remote regions of Pakistan. Through Fashion for Change, they learned to improve a product’s quality and increase sales through traditional embroidery, weaving, knitting and correct finishing techniques. Abeer is an alumna of local international.
Thomas Kilian Bruderer is an alumnus of local international.
Values like sustainability, social responsibility and honest craftsmanship are the cornerstones of the design process at Cho’jac items. A collaboration between Mexico and Germany, the traditional agave fibre nets are produced by the Maya-Tzotzil before being brought to Berlin where they are combined with timeless design elements to make for a more attractive product on the western market. The products are dyed with locally sourced natural colours. As part of this cooperation, courses are offered in Mexico that help pass on the craft of net making and thereby preserving it from extinction.
THE STORY OF NORTHERN BANGLADESH – RIVER ISLAND
Imam Hassan is a participant of local international. He has been working as a designer for Friendship Colours of the Chars for several years and gave us insights into his work and the design process. Friendship Colours of the Chars is a fashion and lifestyle brand of Friendship Enterprise. As a social enterprise of the NGO Friendship, it works with the most remote and marginalized women of the Chars (river islands) in the districts of Gaibandha and Kurigram.
CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES
a lecture by Av. Monica Moisin, Founder of the CULTURAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS INITIATIVE
Monica Moisin is a lawyer dealing with the legal protection of traditional cultural expressions and fighting for the preservation of traditional textiles and handicraft knowledge. She collaborates with artisans whose designs are copied by fashion companies in order to sell these “new” designs for a lot of money on the commercially accessible market, without linking them to their obvious authors or origin and thus denying credit where it is due. Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions are a valuable asset that fashion companies often make use of. Monica Moisin is committed to ensuring that rules such as the “3Cs rule” – Consent, Credit, Compensation – are followed. If these rules are followed when working together, a fair and inspiring exchange of cultures can take place on an equal footing: co-creation and co-design instead of intervention and subordination.
taught by Judith + Johanna
Had we been in the same place, there would have certainly been no lack of joint extracurricular undertakings. Lockdown meant we all had to deal with new and unexpected events on a daily basis, while missing many things that would have otherwise seemed so normal. Social distancing is very tedious indeed. What gives more support than the closeness of one’s beloved friends?
One summerly Saturday, Johanna and Judith invited the local international participants to an online yoga class. In the beginning it felt strange -being in front of the camera always feels like being watched – it’s nothing like being in a room full of people. But as the class went on this sentiment quickly faded and all that remained was an image of active, heavily breathing students in their overheated rooms in front of deactivated cameras.
Creating shared memories is only possible to a limited extent these days, but in these rare moments one manages to still feel close despite being thousands of kilometres apart.
CO-DESIGN – WORKING WITH ARTISANS
Presentation by Andrea Bury, Founder of Abury and Abury foundation about th Abury design experience, co-design, giving back to communities, benefit sharing and ethical sourcing.
Abury‘s mission is to preserve traditional crafts from Africa and enable people to earn a good income through their extraordinary skills. Abury distributes traditionally manufactured products from Morocco, Ethiopia and Ecuador whereby 50% of the income is returned to the respective community or reinvested if necessary. People from remote areas in particular live in harsh poverty and unemployment which is at odds with their skills and rich cultural heritage. Abury ensures that the crafts of these rural communities are presented in an ethical way. Women especially have no access to education and therefore do not participate in economic decision making. With Abury as their business partner, they and their children are provided with access to education, which in turn enables them to do well in business. Creating intercultural understanding between people of different nations is one of Abury’s main goals.