Issue #009, 2022 ISSN: 2581- 9410
Artisan Designers in the Time of Covid-19
Artisans, among many people in India, are experiencing extreme stress on their professions due to the prolonged lock down imposed to control the spread of COVID-19. Many people are concerned that Indian craft and handmade face an existential crisis. Baaya Design initiated a group of over 250 designers, members of NGOs and businesses all wanting to help artisans. Suggestions have been made for making new products- with a focus in face masks, for marketing through online platforms and for initiating education in schools. The discussion has been overwhelming. Yet, it is based in certain assumptions that once again bring up questions: who are artisans? and who are craft consumers?
And how do artisans perceive their situation? Craft is their cultural heritage and they certainly have concerns about its future. They must be involved in the discussion, as equal partners. On 14 May 2020, Baaya Design organized a webinar in which four artisan designers from Kutch- working traditional artisans who have taken a year-long design course, discussed their goals, the impact of lockdown on artisan communities, their challenge...