Craft Training School

The Craft Training School

We are also raising money for a Craft Training School in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Specifically, we are looking to fund a project teaching traditional embroidering techniques to young women from the villages around Bukhara. The aim of the project is to preserve the cultural heritage of the region, and at the same time, provide an additional source of income for young women. We see a thread linking the Lantern Community and the Bukhara Training School. In Uzbekistan, as in the United Kingdom, craft has an important role to play in empowering the disadvantaged.

The Context

Bukhara has a long tradition of craft, in embroidery, carpet weaving, ceramics, painting, and chestmaking. This tradition was suppressed in the Soviet Union, as it was seen to be representative of a past of small scale craft, which stood in the way of a future of collective labour. In Uzbekistan today, indigenous crafts have an important role to play not only in preserving the cultural heritage of the region, but also in providing a possible source of income. The aim of this project is both to preserve the cultural fabric of Uzbekistan, but also to see how crafts can be turned into a source of sustainable income through sale on global markets, and we will be investigating this when we reach Bukhara.

The Project

The project is to teach around twenty young women traditional embroidering techniques in September, October, or November 2013, in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The project will be led by a family of traditional craftsmen, Fatullo, Feruza, and Zarina Kendjaev. Their workshop, the Training School in Bukhara, was opened with the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The project will last four days, of which two days will be spent learning how to draw traditional patterns, while the other two will be spent learning how to make traditional dyes and stitches. A trip to the Museum of Decorative Art in Bukhara is also included, so that the women can see samples dating from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries.

Breakdown of Costs

Salary for the teacher (4 days) 320 USD
Fabric and threads 200 USD
Natural dye workshop 150 USD
Visit to the museum 100 USD
Lunch for participants 140 USD
Transportation fee to bring the women in from the villages 200 USD
Total 1110 USD = £710

The Money

The Craft Training School, although supported by UNESCO, is not a charity. The idea of working with them came from two academics associated with the Central Asia Forum at Cambridge, Dr Shailaja Fennell, and Dr Siddharth Saxena, both of whom can vouch for the scheme. Having researched a number of online funding platforms, such as http://www.justgiving.com and http://www.kickstarter.com, it appears that they cannot be used to raise funds for a cause of this nature in a foreign country. We have therefore set up a bank account to receive donations, and plan to transfer the money directly to the Training School. We ask you to trust us that the money will be used well, and can provide the assurances of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum that the scheme is legitimate. More information on the Central Asia Forum can be found at http://www.cambridge-centralasia.org/.

Further Information

Article in Handeye Magazine:

http://handeyemagazine.com/content/past-and-future-suzani

Article in Santa Fe International Folk Art Market Magazine:

http://www.folkartmarket.org/artists/fatullo-kendjaev-and-feruza-khamraeva/

Donating

Please message whynotflytoshanghai@gmail.com if you would like to make a donation, and we will provide you with the information you need to make a transfer!  We realise that this is laborious, but there is no other way to do it. This sort of problem makes it extremely difficult for small international causes to raise money, so your money will be going somewhere  it would not reach through a website such as JustGiving.

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