Empower Shipibo women through creative economy

by Alianza Arkana
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Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
Empower Shipibo women through creative economy
INTERVIEWING THE ARTISANS
INTERVIEWING THE ARTISANS

We are very proud to share the final results with the public, creating new ways to continue to thrive together and start the new year with such great and inspiring projects.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the whole world and the Amazon region has been hit particularly hard. With international borders closed and a drastic economic decrease in the tourism sector, all indigenous artisans, who are the main breadwinners of their families, are now under serious economical strain.

Closing probably the most difficult year in human history was challenging. Fortunately we had the opportunity to be part of the Alianza Arkana's initiative to generate sustainable solutions by creating Kené Sikati Kirika: a digital Kené Coloring Book to sell and support a group of a group of 30 artisan mothers, generating incomes for them in these difficult times, and at the same time, support us and empower the members of our collective throughout the process.

Kené refers to the ancestral Shipibo-Konibo geometric designs, which are usually illustrated on tapestries or ceramic pieces.

This very special e-book also aims to connect the general public with the unique legacy of Shipibo-Konibo designs by providing the opportunity not only to learn about the kené itself, but also to interact directly with each drawing through printable graphics to color.

We have been working on this digital Kené Coloring Book since September 2020 and we have asumed production roles  working on the set design; convocating all the 30 artisans; working on the translation of all the interviews from Shipibo to Spanish; supporting the book's graphic design; and we have gained first-hand experience in budget management.

To create this project we had the support of Amazon Watch and their contribution has allowed for the participation of all Shipibo-Konibo collaborators and will continue to support indigenous families through the sale of this book.

We are very proud to share the end results with the public, creating new ways to continue to prosper together and start the new year with such great and inspiring projects.

 

VIDEO BEHIND THE SCENES:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyJv6udVjLE&feature=youtu.be

DRESSING AN ARTISAN
DRESSING AN ARTISAN
PREPARING AN ARTISAN FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT
PREPARING AN ARTISAN FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT
TAKING PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH
TAKING PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPH

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Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the whole world and the Amazon region has been hit particularly hard. With international borders closed and a drastic economic decrease in the tourism sector, all indigenous artisans, who are the main breadwinners of their families, are now under serious economical strain.

However, we have united as an international community to face this situation, and with the support of Amazon Watch, we have come up with a very creative solution: an Online Kené Coloring Book for sale! The Kené refers to the ancestral Shipibo-Konibo geometric designs, which are usually embroidered and/or painted in cloths, or used to decorate ceramic pieces. Since the selling of these physical items has become inaccesible, we are now working on a digital book which contains these beautiful geometric patterns and pictures of the artisans that drew them. These designs will be digitalized so that those who purchase the e-book can print and paint them from the comfort of their home. Through this e-book, we will distribute a fair percentage of the profits to each artisan involved, so that they can make an income in these trying times. 

We are very proud of the intercultural team that came together to make this e-book a reality. Our team is comprised of 6 Shipibo-Konibo youth, 3 peruvian Alianza Arkana staff members, 1 portuguese Alianza Arkana staff member and 35 Shipibo-Konibo artisan mothers. We are currently interviewing the artisan mothers in their native tongue, executing a portrait photoshoot for each of the artisans involved, and recording the "behind the scenes" process. Next steps include editing the photos and videos, translating all interviews to Spanish and English, and beginning with the editorial design of the book. Stay tuned for more news on the Kené Coloring Book project soon! You can subscribe to our mailing list here, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Thank you for supporting Shipibo-Konibo youth!

Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
Kene Coloring Book - Photo shoot
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Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our activities have come to a standstill, and we are refocusing the way we are working this year and adapting ourselves to these uncertain times.

Each of us are in our homes, with our families, and abiding by the policies of the Peruvian government.

Unable to leave our homes, we are adapting to the digital sphere and are joining virtual initiatives such as The Fashion Revolution Week. Together with the global community of sustainable brands we are sensibilizing consumers to the importance of knowing who made their clothes and what are the stories behind the artisans. 

Supporting small sustainable businesses is not only being aware of the products we consume, it is valuing the work of those who make them. Slow fashion is a form of resistance to capitalist consumption dynamics and is also part of the fight against labor exploitation. Our pieces are unique, designed and produced by ourselves and each garment is made by several hands. The ancestral designs and embroidery that adorn our creations carry a knowledge passed down from generation to generation that make our indigenous fashion a unique and innovative movement. 

This past month we have also been dedicated to our financial sustainability by writing two grants. One for the FRIDA Foundation, which is dedicated to empower young feminists and another, for SACRED FIRE FOUNDATION, which promotes sustainable projects that revitalize indigenous ancestral practices. We have also been contacting future buyers to promote our accessories online. We have hope that we will thrive in these changing times!

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Fashion Show
Fashion Show

November was a month full of surprises and events! We worked a lot while perfecting the practice and learned new things.

The firsts professionals and originals products were ready: tee-shirts and bags!

The volunteer Camerina proposed a clothing reviving consisting of DIY t-shirt cutting, which demonstrated the transformation of making old clothes into new. The youth enjoyed this free and creative moment: scissors and chalk fought a joyous battle in the workshop!

The group had tried a new print technique: engraving. The principle of this practice is to remove material (wood or linoleum) to make the image appear in negative. Using cutting tools, patience and concentration as a creating requirement, we can apply a thin layer of ink with the help of a roller. We are ready for the final step of the process: gently add pressure to make a precise print.

Then we deepened a bases of sewing, where we learned to make fabric cutting patterns for inclusive unique clothing sizes with a standard of crossing: tee-shirt, kimono and a long skirt.

Two by two worked through troubleshooting how to make, and at the end of two lessons these forms were in the graph paper ready to try in the fabric.

We held three workshops: a workshop of silk screen printing for the Shipibo mothers, and the second we taught the foundation of sewing by making reusable sanitary napkins in the community of Santa Clara. Finally the youth taught 16 Americans students the process for making a natural dye and design workshop. All of these experiences were very beautiful to witness and rewarding for the Shipibo youth. 

For closure of the current  year, the Shipibo youth were proposed with a one week challenge to prepare a little fashion show : it was time to enforce our knowledge to create a first mini collection. In true fashionista spirit the group headed to the market to purchase fabric, after a preparatory workshop on pattern cutting on skirts, a kimono, shorts, tops, and trousers. 

This first fashion show was a huge success and for the youth a first indicator to a promising future as designers.

 

Step by step this youth project evolves at the same time as the youth.

It's a real pleasure to see this growth in the work as well as in their personalities!

Thank you so much for your role in making dreams a reality.

Fashion Show
Fashion Show
Improving the sewing mashine technique
Improving the sewing mashine technique
Kene Nete: sharing new skils with shipibo mothers
Kene Nete: sharing new skils with shipibo mothers
New learnt technique: Engraving
New learnt technique: Engraving
Sewing practice
Sewing practice
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Liz sewing for the first time
Liz sewing for the first time

The first part of the Kené Néte initiative was focused on traditional techniques. Now, we are starting to integrate traditional art with modern techniques.

Serigraphy is a popular screen printing process were an image is transferred to fabric by pressing color through a fabric stencil. This tool has great potential not only because of its versatility, but also because it allows individuals to be the creator of their own designs and produce them on a large or small scale while maintaining low costs. That is why in September we started learning this new technique.

Our textile screen printing class, taught by artist and Program Coordinator Susana Carreiras, began by designing and preparing a pattern. Youth participants chose and worked on different images, such as traditional geometric patterns, kéne, and Shipibo phrases, among others. Next they learned the process of developing and stamping. This part requires patience because only with practice is the color transferred to the fabric in an even way, resulting in a good impression. Luckily, our group has the time and desire to learn how to execute this process with high quality results.

Since the sewing is crucial for our innitiative,our classes began as soon as Camile arrived, this gifted French volunteer, is teaching us how to use a sewing machine for the first time. It is a big challenge, placing the thread, sewing a straight line, etc. However, little by little we are getting closer, and we have already started working on our first objective: tote bags. Some students have picked up the practice with ease, while others still require more practice!

We recognize that learning new things is a challenge, which is why we included meditation and other mindfulness techniques to our activities to give us focus and energy as we continue towards our goals.

We have acquired tote bags and t-shirts to screen print with our own designs. We believe you might be interested in acquiring some of these items, so as soon as our online shop is ready, we will share it with you! Income from these sales with allow us to support our project in an ongoing way, while giving confidence to the participants.

We are very excited about where this new step is taking us, and it is only possible due to your support. Thank you and we look forward to sharing another update with you soon!

 

Irake!

Thank you !

Shipibo for "I love you", tote bag serigraphy
Shipibo for "I love you", tote bag serigraphy
Our volunteers, Camerina and Camile
Our volunteers, Camerina and Camile

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Alianza Arkana

Location: Yarinacocha, Ucayali - Peru
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Yarinacocha, Ucayali Peru
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