Artisan Support Project - Kala Aur Katha | Milaap
Artisan Support Project - Kala Aur Katha
of Rs.15,00,000
1 supporter
  • PS

    Created by

    Pankaja Sethi
  • K

    This fundraiser will benefit


    from Bhubaneswar, Odisha

This project is a small endeavor to support artisans living in rural and urban spaces affected by cyclone Fani in Odisha, through the establishment of a resource center for artisans.

This project aims to build a dialogue with rural and urban artisans to create a range of narrative scrolls that interprets contemporary stories of people from the villages.

Rather than hark back to a nostalgic past through repetition of mythological series, as is prevalent of textile art in the region, these narrative scrolls in silk textiles will illustrate ways of life of people as they are ‘now’ and their relationships with the present. They will depict villagers’ life journeys, modes of being, aspirations, and challenges. Through reflections which include stories - both mundane and eventful - from the lives of artisans, folk dances such as Gotipua Sahi-nacha, and symbolic representation of Tree of Life, the scrolls will try to contemporize the traditional art form.

In the process, it will also empower women through the education of recycling, circular economy, and sustainable design and craft ideas.

During the recent cyclone, many artisans were affected and several artworks were destroyed. This comes as a big loss to the nation, in whose cultural heritage, Odisha holds an important place. Some destroyed artworks from previous generations are around 70-80 years old, and cannot be reproduced except by expert conservators who can preserve the fragments of the artworks left. The incubation center will help in such preservation.

Also, many artisans have begun experimenting with new methods and materials, including colour pigments, style, and narratives. The center will also serve as an archive of these changes as a space for research and sharing of knowledge resources.

Moreover, the center seeks to reinstate the importance of the role of women in home-based handcrafted and handloom cottage industries. Through education and design training, the center aims to help them combine their traditional knowledges with new aesthetic sensibilities in order to create contemporary art practices.

Founded in 2008, Kala aur Katha is a design and research-based studio in Bhubaneswar that engages in and supports contemporary narrative expressions through various visual art forms- textiles, crafts and material cultures. It tries to create a collaborative space between artists, designers, weavers, photographers, filmmakers and researchers in order to make contemporary art while using the knowledge of the past.

Kala Aur Katha is committed to a contemporary art praxis that combines thought and practice, and is engaged in reviving local indigenous methods of handcrafted tradition to support weavers, artists, artisans, and Adivasi women; research documentation for education purposes; establishing of a natural dye unit; recreating handspun handwoven khadi; organising workshops on recycling using circular economy; facilitating scholarships and awards; and community outreach through public talks.

Kala Aur Katha highly encourages young people to experiment with contemporary ideas and materials. To develop the notion of design and aesthetics among young artists, designers, weavers, photographers, filmmakers, researchers and artisans, we conduct regular talks, workshops, and programme.

Most events are focused on creating women empowerment, circular economy and in support of education for underprivileged children. KAK envisions self-enrichment of an individual to their true potential. To nurture the talent it provides a space to explore and experiment. KAK is always an open welcoming space for talent.

A dedicated team constantly works towards the goals to fulfill the vision. Young volunteers from the various field - as well as patrons, and institutions - show their gracious support to KAK and its projects.

Over the last two decades, Odisha has witnessed several major cyclones. In the current period of Climate Change, natural disasters are inevitable and beyond human control. As a result of such calamities, several traditions are dying and will languish in some years.

To help preserve these traditions, we are aiming to build a resource center for art & craft. This will include an archival space to research, secure, reproduce & rejuvenate the craft of Odisha.
The center aims to work, educate and communicate with artisans in contemporary art practices, to narrate the identity of Odisha, and to engage in community outreach programs regarding aesthetics, design, art & craft. Its goal is to create sustainable craft and a space to endlessly create new possibilities for achieving longer term goals of understanding and expressing the contemporary world, and preserving our cultural heritage for future generations.

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