06-28-2022     3 رجب 1440

Why should we Preserve Artistic Achievements ?

“People have been talking about the meaning of art, craft and design since centuries. It is a less prominent part of the conversation now. Survival is perhaps the key driver.”

June 24, 2022 | Dar Javed

There was a time when the realm of the traditional handicrafts business of Kashmir was thriving at a blazers speed. Kashmir brings to mind the richness of beauty in not just enchanting nature , mountains, water and lakes but the color and fineness of its crafts . However, a certain shift in the conditions for these art and craft forms has reduced the overall process and has taken life out of what used to be identified as the selfhood of Kashmir and Kashmiris. Due to these shifts Kashmir has been arrested in a steep decline of its legacy. Namda, Pinjrakari, Wagu , Tapestry, silverware have been identified as list of identified endangered crafts from Kashmir . Unfortunately Kashmir crafts are close to its extinction. What just happened in between? What forces came into play and lead to the downfall of multi crore handicraft industry.
According to the Directorate of Handicrafts of UT of Jammu and Kashmir website, there are nearly 2.50 lac artisans directly dependent upon handicrafts for their livelihood . Presently our handicrafts earn around Rs. 1700 crores as foreign exchange every year. The numbers provided by the department of Handicraft’s Jammu and Kashmir may seem be promising but the ground reality is that most of the Artisans, weavers in Kashmir belong to socio - economically backward class , they are the poorest among all communities. Presently Kashmir handicrafts is facing heaps of challenges and perhaps going through the worst phase . Right from the political situations to the dearth of quality Raw material , Kashmir craft is dying a silent death . State has to work on many fronts to revive age old traditional sector . Design development, creation of raw material depots, workshops, setting of incubation centres, Strengthening Craft development institute needs to foster to pave a way to revive craft sector . Handicrafts were introduced in 18th century in Kashmir. Our history tells us that making objects by hand was the norm, and the skills were passed from one generation to other. Craftsman from Kashmir had a unique way of making objects with attention to details , intricate designs , fineness with precision being carved with humble hands that favours patience. Most of the crafts are now in the hands of an ageing population. A significant proportion of those working in handicraft sector are approaching retirement and the lack of interest of both rural and urban youth in pursuing crafts is perhaps the biggest reason behind a dwindle of traditional crafts. There is an ongoing challenge of encouraging the younger generation to see traditional crafts as a viable path – which it is – and one that can provide a varied stimulating and a rewarding career. However youth have very cogent reasons behind showing disinterest. First our school, college curriculum doesn’t encompass any pivotal lesson that pushes the youth to pursue their passion instead of white collar jobs, second they have seen their parents struggling to get the right prices of their hard work.
People have been talking about the Kashmir’s art , craft and design since centuries. It is a less prominent part of the conversation now. Survival is perhaps the key driver. It is also pertinent to mention here that with the advent of digital world and industrialized work people are moving to other innovations and the availability of cheaper, quick and mass varied products is increasing at a high speed ,hence art is losing its grip . Therefore Handicrafts face hard competition to run in contemporary markets ....and preserving traditional crafts and protecting the skills is growing challenge. Handicrafts is now typically perceived as traditional, old-fashioned and antithetical to modern tastes. There have been limited efforts to re-position the image of crafts and build consumer appreciation of the history and cultural identity associated with handmade products.
It is very important to save craft as craft is about connection -- it is about connecting past to present . There is a story behind craft objects . Objects made in traditional way provides link back to how our ancestors made beautiful things and is still appealing to a lot of people . Hence preserving heritage crafts means protecting identity . Recently New education policy (NEP 2020 ) came into force . The good thing about the new education policy is that it talks to streamline skill education with the mainstream subjects. The new Education policy therefore talks about things where skill /vocational education will be integrated with other academic and professional subjects . Vocational education will be integrated into all schools and higher educational institutions, focus areas will be on mapping local opportunities . there is a hope that Kashmir handicraft and Handloom be made a part in school and college curriculum under skill education . This is an opportunity where we can streamline craft education , and it can help and boost craft sector . New generation will have an opportunity to study /learn art and craft as a mainstream subject . This will help local arts and crafts to continue to flourish. Nurturing new generation of makers, new talent by giving skill education in craft sector can bring this lost legacy back.

 

Email:----------------darjaveed305@gmail.com

Why should we Preserve Artistic Achievements ?

“People have been talking about the meaning of art, craft and design since centuries. It is a less prominent part of the conversation now. Survival is perhaps the key driver.”

June 24, 2022 | Dar Javed

There was a time when the realm of the traditional handicrafts business of Kashmir was thriving at a blazers speed. Kashmir brings to mind the richness of beauty in not just enchanting nature , mountains, water and lakes but the color and fineness of its crafts . However, a certain shift in the conditions for these art and craft forms has reduced the overall process and has taken life out of what used to be identified as the selfhood of Kashmir and Kashmiris. Due to these shifts Kashmir has been arrested in a steep decline of its legacy. Namda, Pinjrakari, Wagu , Tapestry, silverware have been identified as list of identified endangered crafts from Kashmir . Unfortunately Kashmir crafts are close to its extinction. What just happened in between? What forces came into play and lead to the downfall of multi crore handicraft industry.
According to the Directorate of Handicrafts of UT of Jammu and Kashmir website, there are nearly 2.50 lac artisans directly dependent upon handicrafts for their livelihood . Presently our handicrafts earn around Rs. 1700 crores as foreign exchange every year. The numbers provided by the department of Handicraft’s Jammu and Kashmir may seem be promising but the ground reality is that most of the Artisans, weavers in Kashmir belong to socio - economically backward class , they are the poorest among all communities. Presently Kashmir handicrafts is facing heaps of challenges and perhaps going through the worst phase . Right from the political situations to the dearth of quality Raw material , Kashmir craft is dying a silent death . State has to work on many fronts to revive age old traditional sector . Design development, creation of raw material depots, workshops, setting of incubation centres, Strengthening Craft development institute needs to foster to pave a way to revive craft sector . Handicrafts were introduced in 18th century in Kashmir. Our history tells us that making objects by hand was the norm, and the skills were passed from one generation to other. Craftsman from Kashmir had a unique way of making objects with attention to details , intricate designs , fineness with precision being carved with humble hands that favours patience. Most of the crafts are now in the hands of an ageing population. A significant proportion of those working in handicraft sector are approaching retirement and the lack of interest of both rural and urban youth in pursuing crafts is perhaps the biggest reason behind a dwindle of traditional crafts. There is an ongoing challenge of encouraging the younger generation to see traditional crafts as a viable path – which it is – and one that can provide a varied stimulating and a rewarding career. However youth have very cogent reasons behind showing disinterest. First our school, college curriculum doesn’t encompass any pivotal lesson that pushes the youth to pursue their passion instead of white collar jobs, second they have seen their parents struggling to get the right prices of their hard work.
People have been talking about the Kashmir’s art , craft and design since centuries. It is a less prominent part of the conversation now. Survival is perhaps the key driver. It is also pertinent to mention here that with the advent of digital world and industrialized work people are moving to other innovations and the availability of cheaper, quick and mass varied products is increasing at a high speed ,hence art is losing its grip . Therefore Handicrafts face hard competition to run in contemporary markets ....and preserving traditional crafts and protecting the skills is growing challenge. Handicrafts is now typically perceived as traditional, old-fashioned and antithetical to modern tastes. There have been limited efforts to re-position the image of crafts and build consumer appreciation of the history and cultural identity associated with handmade products.
It is very important to save craft as craft is about connection -- it is about connecting past to present . There is a story behind craft objects . Objects made in traditional way provides link back to how our ancestors made beautiful things and is still appealing to a lot of people . Hence preserving heritage crafts means protecting identity . Recently New education policy (NEP 2020 ) came into force . The good thing about the new education policy is that it talks to streamline skill education with the mainstream subjects. The new Education policy therefore talks about things where skill /vocational education will be integrated with other academic and professional subjects . Vocational education will be integrated into all schools and higher educational institutions, focus areas will be on mapping local opportunities . there is a hope that Kashmir handicraft and Handloom be made a part in school and college curriculum under skill education . This is an opportunity where we can streamline craft education , and it can help and boost craft sector . New generation will have an opportunity to study /learn art and craft as a mainstream subject . This will help local arts and crafts to continue to flourish. Nurturing new generation of makers, new talent by giving skill education in craft sector can bring this lost legacy back.

 

Email:----------------darjaveed305@gmail.com


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

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