Lakmé Fashion Week has always pioneered new initiatives. During the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2018 season, Fashion Funda with Parmesh Shahani of India Culture Lab presented Weave the Nation. It is an informative dialogue on weaving as an intrinsic idea that is very much connected to India.
Two films -‘A Delicate Weave’ by Prof. Anjali Monteiro and Prof. K.P. Jayasankar from TISS & ‘The Stitches Speak’ (Tanko Bole Che) by Prof. Nina Sabnani from IIT Bombay were shown.
A Delicate Weave talks about the beauty of the art of weaving. The Stitches Speak told how the language of embroidery and stitches completes a fabric.
#weavethenation was the trending topic of this workshop, with two full-length documentaries highlighted the culture and authenticity of Indian textile craftsmanship.
Nina Sabnani’s The Stiches Speak
Nina Sabnani’s documentary ‘The Stiches Speak’ was a re-telling of the stories of the women weavers and their struggles. Beautifully animated, using woven pieces by the village folk, the film followed their story on how their ancestors came to the villages and their daily lives.
The film also mentioned how the earthquakes post 1980 had affected the villagers, who could no longer rely on agriculture as their main income. This led to the village women weaving their stories into fabrics and clothes that they could potentially sell. A particular silver bag, made by the son of one of the village women, Raniben caught the eye of Judy, who began to help the women and men sell their exquisitely crafted handmade clothes and accessories.
The focus of this documentary was to highlight the authenticity of handloom crafts of India, where it’s not just clothes that come to be woven, but rather the story of the weaver and life itself.
A Delicate Weave by Prof. Anjali Monteiro and Prof. K.P. Jayasankar
Prof. Anjali Monteiro and Prof. K.P. Jayasankar from TISS showcased a brilliant documentary on the Sufi art of India, which sought to bring people together in an otherwise divided land of Kutch.
The film began by introducing weavers from different backgrounds sitting together, their sole focus being on perfecting each of their handloom fabrics. An almost spiritual experience ensued, with a glimpse into the lives of folk singers from different backgrounds. Men and women of all ages were seen enjoying their work as artisans and music, almost creating art through songs, with each weave being inspired by the rich history of Sufi music.
Stories of the past combined with newer techniques and passed down from generation to generation was a wonderful testimony to the skills and passion that the artisans and musicians have burning within them, to continue on even in the harsh conditions of the land and to not just survive, but really thrive.