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Cultural appropriation

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Critical Analysis and Comparison of Banarasi Sari and Patachitra GI

November 1st, 2019 by Benedetta Ubertazzi Banarasi Sari Banarasi Sari is a centuries old artisanal form of embroidered, hand-woven silk fabrics originating in Banaras, India. The community of weavers is divided into several categories, including own-workers, loomless weavers, job-work weavers and master-weavers. The Banarasi community has faced competition from weaving centres in India and China, as well as those who have been passing off machine fabrics as handmade. In order to compete, master weavers and traders resorted to unethical strategies such as reducing wages, lowering the quality of designs and passing off synthetic fibres as silk. A campaign for a GI started in 2006, and a GI was awarded in India in 2009. Problems with the Banarasi Sari GI The first problem is the lack of a broad-based community-wide support for the GI. The GI application was made by nine registered proprietors. These registered proprietors consisted of: two NGOs, two government agencies, two traders’ organ
 Traditional art goes digital in times of crisis May 26th, 2020 by Anindita Patra “We tell ourselves stories in order to live” –Joan Didion Stories of hope, stories of a brighter tomorrow is what keeps us going especially during these times when the entire world is copped up in their respective homes. Art is a great storyteller, art speaks of yesterday, art speaks of today and art speaks of tomorrow. Art connects people in different ways, that maybe be said metaphorically but digital media connects people literally. And what happens when art and digital media comes together during these times of crisis? Magic happens. I will be narrating such a story today, a story of amalgamation of art and digital media. Swarna Chitrakar, a Patachitra artist from Naya, West Bengal has become an internet sensation overnight because of her painting on COVID-19. Sounds a bit vague? Well, let me explain. Patachitra is a traditional art form of West Bengal in which stories are painted on vertical scroll a

Sustainable development and Intellectual Property Rights: The case of Patachitra and GI.

 ‘Green GI’ and Sustainable Development Intellectual property rights (‘IPRs’), particularly geographical indications (‘GIs’), can be an excellent tool for encouraging environmentally friendly practices. The emergence of “Green GIs”, which are both environmentally friendly and compatible with the maintenance of biodiversity and landscape, reflects the utility of using IPRs on traditionally produced goods. These GIs are considered capable of providing prospects for new forms of rural development, community autonomy, preservation of cultural traditions, and even conservation of biological diversity. This is particularly the case when the production of goods encourages the stewardship rather than the depletion of the natural resources from which they are made. GIs have the capacity to recognise and, in line with the nature of the GI itself, protect positive environmental practices. As a point of illGIs have the capacity to recognise and, in line with the nature of the GI itself, protect po

Creating a support system for women led start-ups

  There are some triggering factors that push a woman to launch her business; such as the need for a job, invest savings, become one’s own boss, realise her own dream or maintain a family tradition. Women may also have to balance home and work, which might lead to stress. This can get accentuated if the family environment is not conducive to doing business. However it is a ground reality that many women quit their start-up dreams because of lack of resources, higher risk factors, and lack of marketing, management, financial skills and the burden of compliance costs. Access to hard and soft infrastructure, market, skilled HR, appropriate credit, technology, and statutory compliances are some of the key areas of support requirements. Women led start-ups in eastern and north eastern India have often shared that there is an absence of mentorship, and most importantly an ecosystem that can guide and strengthen first generation women entrepreneurs. The start-up ecosystem consists of a gr

Strengthening Media Coverage on Gender and Economy

To strengthen the dialogue and ensure more media coverage on gender and economy, a workshop was organized with media personnel across India and Bangladesh asking them to share on what are the parities, what are the policies and how can we have more visibility on the issues of women and employment of women. Participants and speakers comprised independent journalists, social media influencers, representatives from national media networks, press club, government department, non-governmental organizations, media development organizations, feminist organizations, academia, digital news agencies and other media professionals. The workshop explored  the barriers to creating gender- sensitive and gender-transformative content, and encourage a solution-based conversation towards creating gender equality in content, workplace, and management. How is Gender Represented in the Media? Women represent only 13% of subjects and sources in the television newscast monitored and 21% in the digital ne