We Wear Culture, Weaving Women Wisdom

Weaving Freedom in Meghalaya has been in collaboration with Google Arts and Cultural Institute for 

This has been documenting the important stories behind what we wear. In has been in collaboration with more than 175 partners. 

Weaving Freedom in Meghalaya:

https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/exhibit/CQJCTbBRTrDzLA has been a part of this g.co/wewearculture exploration into the deep narratives behind wearable culture.  As we step further into the 21st Century at an ever increasing speed, it is all to easy to consume without understanding where our essential items of what we wear come from and how they came to be.  By documenting Khasi Women, a matrilineal tribe in North East India, it is possible to understand how sustainable practices such as using natural dyes and silk from mulberry trees, as well as supporting women to weave their cultural symbols and patterns into the clothing can impact environments on many levels.  Using sustainable agroforestry practices, women can join part government funding co-operatives and following this, can set up their own enterprises, as well as teach others.  The women who become part of these co-operatives and enterprises are often at risk of being trafficked to homes, by being sold off by poorer families looking to substitute their income, so that the unwanted daughters are sent off to be used in often slave labour.  Luckily in the Khasi hills because of the  matrilineal tribe's respect for women, this is not common and so weaving initiatives such as the Nongtluth weaving co operative has supported a large majority of women to go beyond their means to not only support themselves but have the multiplying effect to spread to their daughters, cousins, sisters, mothers and grandmothers.  Not only women but men have played a huge part in creating this sustainable micro-economy that has the potential to be replicated and scaled in other regions as well as other countries where seri-culture is active, such as Vietnam, Peru, Bhutan, Malyasia, Japan, Africa and Brazil. 
   When making the Khasi Women Wisdom Documentary that was also a collaboration with Google Arts and Culture Institute that you can explore here, I met the strong and brave women who were battling against nay-sayers, blockages and discrimination to scale these initiatives so that women were not only able to have better human rights, but also to participate effectively and with their rich skills and crafts in the local, national and global economy.  I was so impressed by their wisdom, resourcefulness and capacity to continue despite obstacles that dedicating my time and resources to this project, has been a great pleasure and learning experience that I want to share.  So the next step is to create education workshops with art and technology across schools and learning environments on a global scale.  Here girls, and boys, women and men will be able to learn about sustainable environmental practices, women empowerment, gender equality, seri-culture, natural dying, design and the arts.  We are aiming to work with Virtual Reality to create immersive education experiences, that Google is developing at the moment with their 360 degree photographs, as well as developing learning environments that go beyond the classroom and give a more engaging and dialogical form of bringing cultures and experiences together that has a greater impact than just raising awareness, even though this is just as important for the initial steps. Having given our first talk at the East india Club in London, we are giving a second talk in London in September (Venue to be confirmed) and in Munich, Germany in October, to welcome in partners.  All work on this project is pro-bono, so initial donations are sought for these events and workshops exploring creating these immersive learning environments, with our funding site here: https://gogetfunding.com/khasi-women-wisdom/
For partnership enquires, you can get in contact directly here: jessica@worldviewimpact.org