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Global Music, Connecting Cultures Stories from the Rajasthani Road... from world music ensemble LIBANA

Connections Abide ~ Sisterhood Around the World

USA | Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | Views [1861]

Women of India Wall Calendar

Women of India Wall Calendar

Creating a full color art calendar. . . Organizing a fair trade crafts fair. Who knew that our journey to India would inspire these new ventures??? A year ago, Libana was busily preparing for our major life adventure to North India. Departure was in a little over 2 months and we were immersed in learning Gujarati songs and dances, emailing strangers a half a world away in a attempt to make connections and plan an itinerary, and figuring out what instruments to take with us--really not knowing what was going to happen. Now, a year later, we reflect often on "what happened". . .

The holiday season is almost upon us here in the US, and THIS fall we were busily occupied in creating ways to honor the strong connections we made in India last fall, and to share the work and creations of women we met almost a year ago! Round and round the Earth is turning....

Our new 2012 Women of India beautiful wall art calendar is finding a home on many kitchen, office and classroom walls around the country for the upcoming new year. Having taken over 7000 amazing photos during our trip, it was clear that some of our images crossed that amorphous line that separates art from a documenting snapshot. Our new calendar was created by culling favorite portraits of women in India: some women we met at Barefoot College and at SEWA and other women we encountered anonymously on the street. We attempted to portray a spectrum of life experience from a Barefoot solar engineer to an older woman selling spices on a street corner, from a kirtan wallah to an artisan from a SEWA collective. To our eyes, all these women are beautifully vibrant and colorful and full of spirit. We wanted to commune with each of them throughout the coming year--with their eyes, their smiles, their focus, their determination and their strength. And we hope you do too!!! You can order one by going to:  http://www.libana.com/travels.htm A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Barefoot College, SEWA, and the Tibet Hope Center in support of their transformational work that changes society for the better!

Ten days ago we held a very wonderful and successful (on so many levels) Artisans of India Marketplace (or a Mela, as it would be called in India!). The idea was sparked last February during the days we spent visiting with the amazing organization of SEWA (Self-Employed Women's Association, based in Ahmedabad). We were sitting in a small room near Ganesh Pur witnessing many women gathered on the floor sewing, cutting, talking, learning. The women of this artisan collective were showing us their traditional cutwork applique technique process. They shared some of the designs they were working on developing as well as some of the gorgeous finished pieces. Wall hangings. Decorative cushion covers. They create daily together --preserving a time-honored tradition while developing new designs for an ever-expanding Fair Trade global market. After immersing in the artwork of these women and others we had visited with on the previous day, we realized that we could share this beauty with our friends back home and also help support the artistry and programs that are helping these women and their families continue to improve the quality of their lives.

Women Artisans of IndiaMonths later, it was so satisfying to see the beautiful work of these talented women on the walls and display tables at my Studio in Somerville, MA at our Mela! It was also amazing to see the people who were there shopping admiring their work, bountifully purchasing it for their own homes and holiday gifts. So many “shoppers” thanked us for doing this event, and for the broader musical mission of Libana— knowing that their purchases were making a difference in the lives of these creative women that we had the honor of meeting in India as a result of being the creative women we are. . .  

And so the circle goes round. Libana sings and dances our way to North India and communes with women artisans in the process, and those connections spark an idea. The artwork created by those women makes its way to the US and inspires and moves those who see it. And the energy returns to India. Everyone benefits. Sisters in creativity and vision across the planet.

Connections abide.   

 

Tags: calendar, india, libana, mela, mela, travel, women, women, women of india, women of india

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