(Version française en bas de page)
THESE ARE THE FACTS
It is a worldwide phenomenon : the cultural specificities of the most vulnerable communities are threatened. Many rural artisans and crafts are in danger of disappearing, principally in developing countries.
The UN raises awareness, with alarming facts : the number of artisans in India has diminished by 30% in 30 years.
Traditional crafts have to remain the key witness to the cultural memory of communities !
Because we are all tired of buying meaningless products manufactured in doubtful conditions, we wish to promote the work of men and women who we met during our trips and whose work and dedication touched us. We wish to defend their lifestyles and accompany them in their development.
Today, we’ve decided to stand up and defend those dedicated to saving Indian crafts.
WHAT WE DO
We launched MAD Community three years ago, convinced that supporting craftsmanship is a mean of maintaining this cultural heritage and guaranteeing a future to many communities excluded from the ongoing development. We’re a registered French NGO, our Indian NGO will be up and going by the end of the year.
We’ve now got a team of passionate and creative minds alongside with us, and we’ve set out to help the craftsmen that can’t live decently from their know how. We are spending time within these tribes and communities, identifying techniques and crafts to save and working together on the products so they can finally meet new markets. And it’s been fascinating.
But we don’t want to be yet another NGO dedicated to saving expensive crafts, this is about the people, and helping them become independent.
The traditional products our artisans work on are often disconnected from the trends and expectations of the final western markets that MAD Community is targeting. How to promote these techniques which have been transmitted from one to generation to the next without distorting them? How do we handle our design intervention responsibly, without altering the essence of the craft ?
MAD Community’s responsibility is also in framing the design intervention, in order to respect the heritage and skills of the artisan. We want designers to assist the artisans, not replace them. Our artisans will always have their word to say.
EXAMPLE IN KASHMIR
We’ve just come back from Kashmir.
We shared the Gujjar’s everyday life. This community from the mountains is a nomadic shepherd tribe which comes down from the mountain to spend the winter in the valley. They bear the major brunt of the decline in tourism as well as the rate increase of the raw materials, excluding them more and more from the regional economy. We also witnessed the work of the Bakarwals, another nomadic tribe from the same region, who traditionally embroider cement bags, how cool ! We’re working on products with them as we speak :)
WHERE WILL YOUR FUNDS GO ?
Until now, the project has been entirely auto-financed by the two founders. We’ve given up our lives in France to move to India and be as close as possible to our craftsmen. Our development needs funds !
Help us structure MAD Community
We need funds to finish launching the Indian NGO .
Give a kick off to our first line of products
We’ve been working hard on our first line of textile items. Working with vulnerable people means financially supporting them from the start : we need to cover the expenses of the raw material, but also the packaging and exporting.
Help us secure the team
So many people have joined the adventure as volunteers. Today we need to start recruiting experts in different fields to ensure the development of MAD Community’s expertise. That has a cost.
OUR STUDY TRIPS
In three years we have travelled a lot to understand the endless local issues these vulnerable communities are facing. Help us dig deeper.
Stand up with us, help us make a difference !
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