Jaisalmer is a land of hidden wonders, ripe with so many craftspeople, artists and musicians who are ‘ustads’ of their art. And yet their talents so often go unnoticed. These time-honoured artistic traditions are art forms of the highest caliber and are routinely given the lowest regard. They are taken for granted and anonymously sold in markets which neither honour the complexity of its creator’s craft nor adequately compensate them for it.
This leads to a situation where there is no money, dignity or incentive for these artisans to continue with their valuable trade. They fail to recognize a fantastic resource that has been gifted from one generation to the next for hundreds of years. As a result, these art forms cease to be embraced by the next generation as a possible vehicle for success and fulfilment. Seemingly left no alternative, the artisans simply leave and end up taking menial jobs in overcrowded metros. They spend their days wrapped in monotony and frustration, as a priceless piece of their cultural heritage is slowly lost to time.
We are collaborating with these ustads, offering artists and craftspeople opportunities to collaborate with modern creators and designers from across the globe. This is an ongoing project with the following inaugural collaborations:
Tahir Sultan - A fashion designer from Kuwait, Iraq
Joi Barua - A singer and musician from Mumbai, India
Eames Demetrios - An installation artist from Los Angeles, USA
Benjamin Burke - An interdisciplinary artist and poet from Oakland, USA