Indigo

Cloth as Vehicle of Malian Crisis

This large cotton boubou, well sewn, shows one of the designs that reflect the Malian crisis. The product comes from Douentza (located in the 5th region of Mali). The elements seen on the boubou illustrate the proliferation of the crisis. Each element is in the form of a hook and the two small dashes from top to bottom to show the continuation of the chain. The arrangement of the design forms a chain of problems.

The Blue Belt

Surajit Sarkar, Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University Delhi wrote The blue belt for the session on Day 2: Reading/Writing/Re-writing/Telling/Re-telling using prompts, 20 December 2019.

Reading ‘Recipes for Re-enchantment’ allowed a reinterpretation of my ‘Blue Canvas Belt’, which I bought last month after waiting for something like it since 2015.

Indigo: The Center of ‘Locality’

Similar in many other places in the world, natural dyeing in Taiwan disappeared when the synthetic dye was widely distributed. Taiwan underwent fast modernization during the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) that was also when Taiwanese indigo dye production and dyeing went down the lane. As a massive amount of Japanese machine-printed textiles entered the Taiwanese market, local dyeing workshops quickly shut down or turned into dealer shops of ready-made textiles. Since then, Taiwan indigo industry, once prevailing, now only existed in the memory of the elders.

 

Indigo as Pedagogy

Starting 2012, the TNUA Centre for Traditional Arts (CTA) initiated a series of field courses, including indigenous boat making, bark cloth making, banana fiber crafts, ritual parades etc.; the course of ‘Natural Dyeing’ was one of them. These courses aimed to bring students out of the classroom to learn from the soil and different people who give life to traditional arts, and to learn how traditional arts are related to the society and their generation. The 2013 course of ‘Natural Dyeing’, conducted with many partners, was divided into three main stages.

To Image Blue Through Making: Preparation Vat of Indigo in School

Many of us may have seen or bought indigo products from market. Seldom do we have the privilege to explore the beauty and hardship of a craftsmanship, know the process and knowledge of it from school. For the semester of Spring 2019, there is a course "Blue Across Boarders", which provided students a brief understanding of indigo, from plants, process of making indigo dye to dyeing, also provided them a chance to witness the process and experimented with dyeing by themselves in school. 

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