A popular handloom exhibition is taking the online route to help artisans across India sustain
We were at an exhibition in Pune in March, when COVID-19 struck. With social gatherings no longer a possibility, we had to slam the breaks on all our upcoming exhibitions, including our monthly physical exhibition Go Swadeshi," recalls Madhavi Naidu, general manager, sales and marketing, GoCoop, a social organisation that facilitates e-connect between artisans and customers. Ever since, they have been in touch with their network of weavers and entrepreneurs across India on how to tide over this financial crisis. "We realised that large amounts of their stock were lying unsold in their facilities. They not only had their own families to take care of, but also the artisans working under them. It is why we decided to take the exhibition online," reveals Naidu.
The week-long exhibition, which will be live on the organisation's website, has been divided into four parts based on India's geography — north, east, south and west. It will feature around 40 creators selling weaves from states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. "What the artisans need right now is our support more than charity, as their stocks are piling up, and there is no outflow. Depending on the response, we may extend the exhibition," she shares. Here's a look at what's on display.
East is best
Soft jamdani sarees and tangail weaves made by artisans from West Bengal will be featured here. There will also be sarees, dupattas and stoles with geometric Sambalpuri ikat designs from Odisha, along with rich Baluchari silks.
Hand-made Nehru jackets from weavers in Jharkhand, dupattas and sarees in the famed Banarasi silk from Uttar Pradesh, and hand-woven Chanderi and Maheshwari sarees and fabrics, among other products, will be available in this section.
This section will feature prints like ajrakh, bandhani and shibori on textiles, which are designed for life in the desert. Naidu tells us that Jahangir Khatri, an artisan from Kutch, who specialises in ajrakh block prints, will be selling dupattas, stoles and sarees, while an enterprise called Shalu Hand Printers will showcase Chanderi sarees in shibori and bandhani prints. Also lookout for a range of pretty, Jaipur block-printed quilts and bedsheets.
On display will be Molakalmuru silk sarees, the contrasting Pochampally handloom ikat sarees, dress materials and cushion sets, dhurris or rugs made using inter-clock weaving, and embroidered sling bags, pouches and sarees created by the Lambani community in Karnataka.
From May 21 to 27
Log on to gocoop.com/goswadeshi
Cost Rs 500 to Rs 50,000
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