The Craft Project by Cocoa and Jasmine: An Amazing Work 
| Onkareshwar Pandey - 04 May 2019

Need to be Conscious of Cultural and Economic Sustainability: Sayali Goyal

By Onkareshwar Pandey

Hey! This girl, Sayali Goyal is really doing something special! Something innovative and different! Normally, I hardly get time to write on the cultural issues after joining into the mainstream political journalism. But I felt amazing, when I saw the work of Sayali, and could not stop myself for writing this article at mid night. I sincerely feel, that we must admire and support her.

Sayali has found Cocoa and Jasmine, an independent cultural publication and relentlessly working in the field of arts, crafts, design and travel. And the story behind founding this is simple but interesting. She got inspired from the Cocoa and Jasmine fields of South India and started a cultural project with the intention of documenting travels and collaborating on creative projects within the artistic community.

Now look at her website - https://www.cocoaandjasmine.com/.

She is inspiring and promoting several women working in the art and craft. Within a year, she developed a digital and print magazine and creative studio.

Sayali has studied surface textiles at the University of Arts London, and has lived and worked in London, Berlin, Mumbai and Delhi.

The Craft Project is an initiative by Cocoa and Jasmine, an independent culture publication, that wishes to document tangible anthropology i.e material culture of a place and comment on its relevance in the contemporary space.

Sayali is also trying to bring together a community of craft entrepreneurs and create a collective of common motivation. The Craft Project celebrates Diversity in culture through objects, folk arts, crafts, and design.

Sayali has initiated a dialogue by interviewing and collecting stories from makers, designers, curators, retailers and brands. These people are from various parts of the world thus giving us a dynamic viewpoint on the subject. She also publishes stories of primary research from major textile regions of India.

For this, she along with her team travelled to Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Maheshwar, Varanasi, Ladakh and Jaipur to document crafts like Natural Dyeing, Kalamkari, Kantha, Jamdani weaving, Block printing, Pashmina, Brocade and Maheshwari weaving.

They also met and interviewed craftsmen and designers. Currently they have over 30 contributors from 24 cities around the world to talk about Indian crafts in contemporary space. Some of these are Judy Frater from Kutch, Monisha Ahmed from Ladakh, Sally Holkar from Maheshwar and Brigitte Singh from Jaipur.

I came to know about her, when she sent a press release about her recent event. In fact, Cocoa and Jasmine, held a panel discussion and textile exhibition at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts IGNCA at New Delhi. The exhibition was called ‘SAFED’ that celebrated Indian textiles in the colour white for the viewer to appreciate the diversity of textures in our fabrics.

The Panel discussion, held on the 27th of April, was moderated by the curator of the Event Sayali Goyal who brought together Purnima Rai of The Delhi Crafts Council of India, Ritu Sethi of the Crafts Revival Trust and Bindu Manchanda of Intach. Together they explore the importance of Crafts documentation, designer intervention in crafts, sustainability as well as craft representation in the west.

Sayali Says ‘Sustainability isn’t limited to the environment only. Crafts belong to a community; hence we need to be conscious of cultural sustainability and economic sustainability. By projects like these, the urban society can be aware of the crafts people, thus make conscious choices’

The photo exhibition displayed the process of documentation and stories that Sayali and her team covered from East to the west of India including Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Ladakh, Varanasi and also Maheshwar.

Installation (Curated by Sayali Goyal)

While travelling to different textile regions in India, Sayali was always fascinated with the workshops and homes of dyers, embroiders and weavers. Some of these workshops had loose white fabric hung for natural bleaching, and this experience evoked almost a spiritual feeling in her. Now, she wishes to translate this experience for the viewer.

A common string in most textile crafts of India is white fabric, a blank canvas. Through this project, she also tried to showcase the unity of craftsmen yet bring out the diversity in textures. When a weaver weaves fabric, a little bit of himself is woven into it as well, thus each fabric displayed here holds the artisan's emotions as if the artisan was present here. If you look carefully at these fabrics, they are all different and unique and have an individual soul yet we can appreciate them as one, just like Indian crafts.

White fabrics has been sourced from different parts of India through makers, designers and organisations who work with artisan clusters.


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(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. http://bit.ly/2mh7hih Email - SMS- 9910150119)


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