Somaiya Kala Vidya Class of 2020
17 March 2019- 16 June 2020
“It is my father’s dream of doing natural dyeing that I want to carry forward” Sohail Junas Khatri Class of 2020
A Note on Names
A key goal of Somaiya Kala Vidya’s education for artisans’ programs is to bring visibility to unrecognized artisans. Our students and graduates, faculty and workshop participants are proud and happy to be recognized and have consented to have their names shared.
Somaiya Kala Vidya is an institution for traditional artisans of Kutch, India. Combining over fifty years' experience of Somaiya Vidyavihar University with fourteen years of design education for artisans, it offers sustained, coherent programs in design and business to provide effective, relevant and practical education. SKV honours and incorporates existing traditions. Its advisors are Master Artisans. Its faculty are professional educators. SKV offers workshops to the world and courses in craft traditions taught by artisan designers. Artisan-to-Artisan Outreach programs and Co-Design Collaborations demonstrate the importance of education for artisans and generate motivation to build a movement of Design Craft.
EDUCATION FOR ARTISANS
DESIGN FOR ARTISANS COURSE 2019
Education for artisans is SKV's reason for being. This academic year started with two classes for the design course running simultaneously. The men’s class has ten students and the women’s class has seven students. The classes of 2020 began their design education journey with orientation workshops on 26th and 27th of December respectively.
Course 3- Market Orientation
Anahita Ginwala completed her course for the women’s class on 21st of March 2020. After learning how they can vary their work, the students will learn why? For whom? The centrepiece of the course is a three-day field trip to Ahmedabad city to visit a range of shops and craft lovers’ homes. They will then learn to analyze their observations and think about cost and perceived value. To orient the class, the respective faculty had them cook a meal for themselves, and the staff. They then had to cost the meal- including the huge number of leftovers. Thinking of planning and costing for other than their livelihood work enabled them to easily understand how they might have streamlined the task.
The women’s class visited different marketplaces during their field visit in Ahmedabad. They visited houses of potential customers, showed their work and understood the tastes and interests of their final customer.
The final presentation was an enriching session, each student shared her story, her understanding of the market and where she would like her designs to be exhibited for sale.
Fibres and Structures Workshop
A workshop on fibres and structure was conducted by MS University Baroda, faculty member Arpitaben on the 7th of March. The workshop gave the students a brief idea of the difference between fibres and how to identify them using a microscope and burn test. For most of them, it was the first time to look through a microscope and see the fibres they work with every day at close distance.
Keeping the momentum going amidst COVID-19 pandemic
The classes were suspended until further notice amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. When educational institutes around the world went online amidst the current pandemic, we did not want to do so. The craft was and is very personal and so is education, our students give one year of their valuable time to learn, gain knowledge, and grow. We wish to provide them with the same, in the contextual setting comfortable to them. SKV was able to afford to postpone the classes while adjusting the academic calendar for future academic years.
Having said that, we also did not want to lose the momentum by the students for the course. The SKV faculty who had already taught in the past sessions came up with assignments that the students could do at home and share via WhatsApp (every student has access to it).
The response has been good, considering it was the first time for both the faculty and the students. We are exploring options to build on the response and keep the momentum going. The men’s class managed to do a presentation of their market orientation class via Zoom.
OUTREACH -KUTCH TO KUMAON AND BHUJODI TO BAGALKOT
Somaiya Kala Vidya Artisan-to-Artisan outreach programs share the benefits of artisan education. Artisan Designer graduates work with artisans in less exposed areas- as a kick-start to demonstrate that innovation in traditions and design education is beneficial.
Our Outreach project Kutch to Kumaon with our partner NGO Avani began on 12th of March 2020 and ended on 20th March 2020. This was the first course in the design program for the artisan students of Avani. Rajeshbhai and Pachanbhai were the artisan designer mentors and LOkesh Ghai was the faculty moderating and assisting the group. Six women artisans took the course, we eagerly await to see the outcome of the project through their designs and products.
The planning for our flagship Outreach project Bhujodi to Bagalkot was cancelled amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The construction of our new campus which started on 3rd February 2020 was stalled amidst the nationwide lockdown in India. As the restrictions eased down, the construction has restarted keeping in mind the social distancing and hygiene rules. We hope to start our next academic year from the new campus.
STAFF AND ALUMNI NEWS
SKV did a webinar on 14th of May 2020 to put forth thoughts, ideas, and the condition of artisan designers in the time of COVID-19. The webinar was organized by Baya Design in association with “A hand for handmade” group. Adilbhai – Bandhani artisan designer, Prakashbhai – Weaver artisan designer, Irfanbhai – Ajrakh artisan designer, Mukhtarbhai – Bandhani artisan designer were the speakers and Nishit Sangomla – Director Somaiya Kala Vidya, Judy Frater – Ashoka Fellow and Co-Founder Somaiya Kala Vidya, and Shibani Jain - founder and CEO of Baya design were the moderators. The webinar was fruitful and attracted 400 registrations from across the world.
International Folk-art market auctioned a piece each of Pachanbhai and Adilbhai, both garnered support and appreciation from the audience. Pachanbhai’s stole inspired by the climate change was sold at $1200 and the stole by Adilbhai was sold at $360.
SKV in association with Bougainvillea gallery, Ahmedabad and Gormei.com is planning an online exhibition on the 27th of June 2020 under the banner Artisan First. Five artisan designers will be exhibiting their exclusive collections and designs online until the 14th of July 2020. SKV has also started promotions for individual artisan designers through our social media channels to connect them directly to the customer.
SKV WORKSHOPS, COURSES,
--AND NOW OPEN STUDIO TOURS TO THE WORLD
Since its inception, SKV has been raising awareness and value for artisans' traditional knowledge and skills by conducting workshops and courses taught by artisan designer faculty. In November 2017 SKV launched Open Studio Tours in Bhujodi and Ajrakhpur. Proceeds from both workshops and Open Studio tours support SKV programs, insuring financial as well as cultural sustainability. The workshops, courses and open studio tours are cancelled/postponed until further notice amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
For more information contact email@example.com.
SKV IN PRINT, OUTLOUD AND ONLINE
Browse the SKV website.
Learn more about our work on our facebook page.
For a discussion on issues of art and artisan, follow Judy Frater's blog
Find SKV on Instagram!
On 6 July 2018, SKV began a YouTube channel.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnbxdYIe8v36eDHqmdEiFsg/featured?view_as=subscriber
We have 10 videos on our channel, all providing important insights on craft in Kutch today. Please do look for updates on our convocation here.
SKV is on Trip Advisor, and our Open Studio Tours are the first and only Airbnb Experience in Kutch!
DESIGN CRAFT Association
Design Craft Association was formed to foster a community of artisan designers and offer them a presence and a platform. It provides artisan designers with a great opportunity to present their brands, under their own labels.
You can meet Design Craft artisans on the SKV website. We welcome you to log onto www.somaiya-kalavidya.org. Under Design Craft you will find a map and a link Design Craft Members that will take you to profiles of each artisan designer. We password-protected the profiles. You will have to register to view them, but it is an easy procedure.
SKV GOVERNING COUNCIL AND ADVISORS
SKV's Governing Council includes Shri Samir Somaiya, Amritaben Somaiya, Lt. Gen Jagbir Singh, Mitenbhai Sachade, Judy Frater, Anjana Somany, Lokesh Ghai, and Irfan Anwar Khatri.
The institute is also advised by a team of visionary Master Artisans, who guide us in honouring and nurturing textile traditions: Gulam Hussain Umar -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Ali Mohammed Isha -bandhani artist, Bhuj; Umar Farouk Khatri- bandhani artist, Bhadli; Dr Ismail Mohammed Khatri – Ajrakh artist, Ajrakhpur; and Shyamji Vishramji Siju- weaver, Bhujodi.
THANKS TO GLOBAL GIVING!
On 13 March 2017 SKV posted a project on GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving makes donation easy. To kick off our project, in March 2017 we met a challenge by raising US$ 6,563 from 43 donors. Today, 116 donors have raised $17,435—more than enough to fund an entire class of our sincere and talented artisan students. This greatly encourages Somaiya Kala Vidya and increases our visibility immensely. During the period December 2019 – March 2020, our project raised $1720- enough for us to support scholarships for two students.
Thank you, GlobalGiving!
The classes of 2020 will be resumed as soon as the situation eases down. We are planning to follow all safety protocols for as and when the institute resumes operations. Amidst the ongoing Pandemic, the artisan designers have shown great courage, grit, and determination, they have made us realize that the true test of an education is in times like this. Many of the graduates supported their staff throughout the pandemic both emotionally and financially. They used the time to get back to the drawing board, analyze the situation and make plans and designs for the difficult days ahead.
Keeping that in mind, the team at SKV is also planning a few workshops both for the alumni and the students, that would make them better prepared for situations in which we currently find us in. We hope for a better future but at the same time are preparing, planning for whatever the future has to offer.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”~Margaret Mead