Translations Across (Post-Colonial) Local-Global Divides

Translations Across (Post Colonial) Local-Global Divides: will explore the tensions and flows expressed in craft and design-to-make production and consumption in the ‘post-colonial’ contexts of contemporary global capitalism and its possible futures.

For example, Making Futures has appeared at the invitation of Beijing Design Week in China, and at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea. In both cases it became evident that traditional craft is seen, to a significant degree, as a stand-in for a politics of identity, and that the issue of how to ensure its continuity and relevance through contemporary craft and design to make represents a dynamic field where tangential interpretations of past, present and future, of private and public competencies, and their boundaries and their interactions, are contested and negotiated under the impact of relatively new forms of industrial Modernity. These fields are sometimes further complicated by the fact that Western understandings of contemporary craft, maker and creative neo-artisanal producers (often fostered on these cultures during times of colonial interchange and occupation) do not necessarily map onto the experiences and values of these societies.

What, then, are the positions of (and how might we ethically identify and support) craft and making initiatives emerging in the movements and stresses between traditional cultures and modernity, between rural and urban cultures, between local, regional, national and global levels of interaction and translation - between notions of authenticity, cultural heritage and identity derived under the influence of non-Western and Western markets, aesthetics and ideologies?