Arts and Culture
How indigenous weavers create design in their communities has never been thoroughly studied.
The topic has become urgent because indigenous weaving traditions are in sharp decline.
The goal of the Roundtable on Endangered Textile Design is to explore the cultural nature of indigenous textile design creation. The topic has been selected on the understanding that the loss of indigenous design is not inevitable, but the result of identifiable social forces, hence the possibility of remedial strategies.
The Roundtable will also consider exogenous forces that have an impact on indigenous design production. Indigenous weavers currently suffer from the loss of social and economic room to continue to grow their design traditions. Enclosures, appropriations, and 'design assistance' from exogenous worlds need to be evaluated for their effect on the latitude that indigenous weavers have to grow their traditions.
The Roundtable is set up to encourage discussion, generate feedback and elicit additional information. Will a consensus of concern emerge? Can a basis for policy recommendations be established?
The meeting of textile experts at the ICAS congress is an ideal moment to confer on this matter of urgency. The Roundtable is open to all of the participants in the loom panels, including additional attendees.
The convenors will distribute to all a statement expressing their concern about the dwindling space that indigenous weavers have to grow and maintain their design repertories, and participants will be invited to comment on this statement and also to submit brief case studies on design dynamics in their respective regions of research. During the ICAS conference the highlights of the written material will be reviewed and the floor will be open for discussion.
Convenors: Sandra Niessen and Geneviève Duggan