The good folks over at Border & Fall are back! They’ve given us wonderful gifts in the past like the photo they found of Frida Kahlo in a saree, and their amazing project showcasing all the different ways you can tie a saree. This time, they’re presenting a series of images about their campaign to introduce better practices into design and crafts made in India. The campaign, which consists of a set of rules that designers can add themselves to as signatories if they wanted to support and follow them, is from 2016, but the images representing each rule are brand new, and already sparking lots of interesting debate.
We first released this Manifesto in Dec 2016, it spoke to 11 points we felt were important to address for ‘textiles and garments’ made in India. Over the years, many of you have signed it in acknowledgement, and we decided to revisit the list this year with a slightly broader focus addressing ‘design and craft’ made in India. The 11 original points have largely stayed the same, and 3 new ones have been added on. Its purpose is to serve as a reminder for areas of focus and importance as design in India continues its global ascent. The next few years are important for our communities and require a keener attention to housekeeping, especially as a collective. We wish the Manifesto had shortened over the years, but while reading you’ll see that many of these points remain relevant. From our end, we are mindful to address 1, 2, 8 and 12 directly with clients and reflect it in our work deliverables. The rest remain active conversations and we look forward to proactively addressing a few of these, especially 8 and 13 this year. Please add your name in the comments if you would like to sign on. Do comment/debate – we are always happy to hear your thoughts. #anincompletemanifesto #borderandfall #textile #garment #design #craft #India
It’s really quite exciting, because the campaign includes statements like, “makers would do well to speak with humility and less ownership about ‘revival’ and ‘innovation’.” Here’s another favourite:
Another, already controversial post talks about the need to transcend marketing trends, and not fetishise or patronise karigars in advertisements for handmade clothing and crafts. The post directly calls out a recent Anita Dongre campaign and tags her for good measure too. If you check out the comments on any of these posts, but especially this one, you’ll also see some interesting debates going on, and find out that Anita Dongre herself has now pledged support to the campaign after being called out.
@anitadongre’s NY foray with Grassroots is the perfect example of this: a model kissing an aged karigar. It’s not reflective of our culture (it would be the opposite embrace) and reads as patronising. In contrast, @behno_official’s direct portrait photography strikes us as a refreshing take on karigar recognition. Let’s see more faces, less hands. #anincompletemanifesto #borderandfall #textile #garment #design #craft #India
You can check out the full series here.