British Council Crafting Future India UK Collaboration Scheme 2022

A global program aimed at announcing the second round of award winners through co-development and co-distribution of projects to support the craft sector for a sustainable future.

The British Council, the UK’s international body for educational opportunities and cultural relations, today announced another set of grant winners for its coveted global program – Crafting Futures: India-UK Collaboration Scheme 2022. Two companies – one in India and one in the United Kingdom Jaipur Rags Foundation and University of Arts London, IICD and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, University of Liverpool and INTACH Hooghly Chapter have been selected.

Crafting Future supports collaborations to strengthen the creative and craft sector in India through exciting and innovative projects that address inclusion across diverse communities, explore solutions to global environmental challenges and create new proposals for the relationship between crafts and technology.

The first round of the Crafting Future India-UK scheme saw innovative and exciting projects – from vocational training for Pinguli puppet artists in Maharashtra; Business skills training and empowerment of women artisans through sustainable processes in handicrafts working at Swami Shivananda Memorial Institute (SSMI); Reviving and reviving urban ‘living’ crafts and creating valuable collaborative opportunities for urban artisans and practitioners from Kolkata, Goa and Bangalore by presenting their crafts at the Inbox Festival; Improving the livelihood of highly skilled artisan women in Gujarat by designing new products for the Indian and European markets and using modern marketing methods; Collaboration with 72 Muslim potter families in Gundiali, Gujarat, for craft tourism to build a residence for international artists; And a collaboration to reach out to 100 women weavers to revive and strengthen the local economy around wool in the Kutch region.

As part of the second round of Crafting Futures: India-UK Collaboration Scheme, applications were invited from India and UK agencies for project proposals, with 3 more projects selected to benefit from financial and technical assistance to support the craft community in India. To co-develop and co-distribute projects that support the handicraft sector.

All three awardees aim to make a significant impact in the craft sector while promoting artisans across different cities. The collaboration between the Jaipur Rugs Foundation and the University of the Arts London will help rural women learn new skills in the craft to earn respectable income and achieve financial independence regardless of their formal education. The program will address the relevant skill gaps within the Indian artisan community and help them expand their economic opportunities through design and entrepreneurship.

The partnership between IICD and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation focuses on potters from Baswa district in Jaipur through exchange of knowledge between India and UK ceramic practices while focusing on design and technology.

Finally, the partnership between Liverpool University and the INTACH Hooghly chapter will work with women artisans across Hooghly who are involved in informal crafts. Through Patchwork, West Bengal and an app-enabled e-commerce network, partners aim to train artisans with new business skills and create products for the global market.

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