Craftsmanship is a technique, often the inheritance of a manual skill handed down over centuries. Moreover, it is, for UNESCO “an important form of cultural expression to the extent that it reflects the aesthetics, the symbolism and worldviews of productive communities.”
In this sense, craftsmanship was an essential part of the traditional village economy and produced everyday objects using designs and motifs that were meaningful to the community.
Today, handicrafts are “a significant source of extra income and employment in many parts of the world” (UNESCO).
The cultural specificities of the most vulnerable communities are threatened and many rural artisans and crafts are in danger of disappearing, principally in developing countries.
The increasing urbanization, the cultural homogenization and the impact of global distribution networks on local production and consumption are a few examples of threats which are influencing cultural diversity and with that, traditional craftsmanship.
Supporting craftsmanship is a mean of maintaining this cultural heritage and guaranteeing a future to many communities excluded from the ongoing / actual development. Traditional crafts have to remain the key witness to the cultural memory of communities!
MAD Community has decided to deploy its activity in India, a country renowned for the abundance of its traditional crafts and skills. But the situation in India is worrying…
Although craftsmanship received royal and aristocratic patronage in its pre-independence epoch, and enjoyed a central role in Gandhi’s independence movement, it has gradually lost its pertinence with the industrialization of the country..
According to the UN, the number of artisans in India has diminished by 30% in 30 years; the vast majority having left the countryside for the cities in search of employment in industry.
There are, apparently, between 7 million (official sources) and 200 million (non-official sources) artisans in India.
Part of this difference can be explained by the fact that official statistics only count the “head of household” leaving aside 5-6 family members who also depend of artisanal activity.
Supporting these craftsmen, helping them develop new skills to optimize their organization, and recognizing their talent is exactly what we wish to implement with MAD Community.