Stripcloth Splendours

19.09.2012 - 24.09.2012


Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
South Bank, London SE1 9PH


Stripcloth Splendours

The British European Design Group, London and the Burkina based non-government organisation SOS-SaveOurSkills present the exhibitions ‘Stripcloth Splendours - Contemporary Revival of West Africa’s Textile Heritage’ as part of the British Council’s International Architecture and Design Showcase 2012 and the 2012 AACDD Bargehouse Festival ‘Untold Gold’.

Drawn from the unique ‘Projet de Tissage’ in Burkina Faso, this exhibition brings together the story of the ancient textile traditions and heritage of West Africa and their survival in the 21st century.

‘Projet de Tissage’ began in 2006 in partnership with the British European Design Group, London and the European Union organisation EU-ACP CDE-Centre for the Development of Enterprise, Brussels. In 2007 SOS-SaveOurSkills was registered in Burkina Faso with its co-founder and Africa Director Desiré Maurice Ouédraogo, a leading textile expert  of his country.

The mission of this project is to secure the cultural, professional and economic survival of West African traditional cotton cultivating and processing cottage industries, in particular handspinning, handloom weaving and dyeing. ‘Projet de Tissage’ aims at empowering craftsmen and women to progress from their traditional craft to contemporary creativity whilst ensuring the continuation of their unique technical skills and cultural identity as an added design value.

The project stresses the urgent need to build capacity in terms of knowledge transfer, education and skills by creating a design-led, high end commercial framework to protect the cultural integrity of West Africa’s traditional textile industry.

The preservation and conservation of indigenous cultural heritage recognises the need for its continual adaptation, progress and evolution without interference from external factors. The challenge lies in how to bring long term economic benefit to the very people whose skills and techniques are in danger of being lost forever.

‘Stripcloth Splendours’ explores the importance of sustainable development through cultural and environmental revival and shows the ingenious ways in which craft and technique can be used to produce magnificent textiles from the most challenging of environments and how to develop opportunities and possibilities to ensure a long lasting future for the master-weavers and communities in Burkina Faso.

‘Masters of their Craft’
Demonstration of traditional West African handloom weaving by Master Weaver Massan Dembele, Burkina Faso
September 20 – 24, 3 – 7 pm
Bargehouse, Southbank
Admission free

‘Why Indigenous Design Matters’
Seminar and Panel Discussion
Friday, 20th September 2012, 10 am – 12 noon
Sackler Education Centre, Seminar Room 1
Admission free

‘Contemporary Textile Design based on
Cultural Identity and Heritage’
Seminar and Panel Discussion
Thursday 24th October 2012, 6.30 – 9 pm
The London Printworks Trust
Admission free

Supported by

British European Design Group SOS - SaveOurSkills AfriqueAuthentique-AuthenticAfrica British Council London Printworks Trust

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