My personal interests and research have taken me on a literal journey to the Sindh village of Khairpur in Pakistan where the non-profit organization, Indus Resource Center, is working with community members of the village to provide them with resources that give them self-agency and confidence to establish a future they can envision for themselves, and most importantly, to prosper in the wider context of Pakistani society. It is here in Khairpur that I found a self-sustained community that humbly welcomed me into their world and in retrospect, exceeded my expectations and negated my assumptions. I have come to find a sense of humility and humbleness in acknowledging my limited knowledge of organic ecosystems that have proven to be authentic models of self-contained incubators and are far more complex than I imagined. This type of model has been successful in implementing education initiatives made by IRC, such as building schools, and has eventually led to the development of other projects like the Khazana Craft Center.
The Khazana Craft Center is a space that provides the women artisans of Khairpur a place to practice art making and a safe space to interact with each other. The products and goods that come out of Khazana are then sold in the city of Karachi. Since my visit I’ve been inspired to provide a marketing plan that sets out to educate the masses about the vitality of skills and trade in relation to the ecosystem at large and also to increase visibility of the people of Khairpur in Karachi. By humanizing the buying experience, Pakistani consumers are then encouraged to support Pakistani producers who use local materials cultivated from their own land. This change in consumer habit will support local village industries, increase funding to IRC’s initiatives such as integrating art and education, and finally, end dependency of international markets and mass production.
This presentation is intended to provide the research that supports development of a marketing plan for the Khazana Craft Center first by establishing academic language around the work being done, so that it may be articulated more precisely to a wider audience. Secondly, to emphasize why the why is necessary in any social justice or business endeavor and create a loyal following for the cause. And lastly, my research and presentation demonstrate why an initiative like Khazana is integral to Indus Resource Center’s mission and values, not only in creating a sustainable model of education, but also a sustainable nonprofit organization whose efforts in turn benefit Pakistan and its people.
My study of Khairpur examines culture's contribution to social wellbeing and community vitality in hopes to determine how art as a binding identity can be incorporated into the non-profit model globally. By enforcing a regional identity through textile and language in the education system, and providing a space for women to continue to create crafts, IRC is establishing engaged citizens through peace building and healing, as well as improving the well being and economic standards of Khairpur. The impact of art and culture proves to be a key factor in the success IRC has had by integrating themselves in a community to work alongside with its members and built more than 200 schools in the region. The model IRC has established can be of great benefit to the Art Administration field because it promotes incorporating the arts and culture in community building.
Below you will find my presentation, along with the corresponding notes. Rather than write a formal paper, I wanted to create a presentation that presented the material more visually. This presentation was given to IRC Board Member Aliya Salahuddin on September 8th, 2018 via Zoom.
Put some language around what we’re doing, why it works
Once we put language around it, find methods to preserve the model, consistency
Craft and skills intertwined with education initiatives
Create awareness through exhibitions, not exploitations
Involve Youth to maintain sustainability
lessons learned from the field become the agenda for research and advocacy Research only done in Education, not Craft and Skill
Emphasize skills, important in achieving our mission and goals. Advancing Tech, abolishing child marriage, health care issues, we’re expanding. But crucial to look at Khazana in order to get there. What it’s doing for the women and men and children in its society.
They are the mainstream we’re striving for, making changes in our lives.
Mission problematic, “mainstream” “marginalized” reword, to provide equal opportunity to those who have been denied adequate access to basic human rights such as education. We’re working WITH the community, they are not below us, word marginalized gives that impression. Empowering them, so they can be self sustainable.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a good collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015. Achieving all 169 targets would signal accomplishing all 17 goals. The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.
Localizing the SDGs. We’re thinking in broader terms of change and sustainability in the global context. But first have to think about it on the ground level, Karachi, Pakistan, THEN global. How is Khairpur situated in these different contexts?
What does our model look like compared to international nonprofit models? How do our focus and goals differ? What are our advantages? What can we implement/change to ensure we remain sustainable as an organization and create sustainable opportunities for the people we serve?
Let’s consider an American model that is working backwards to rebuild culture through arts.
Coming from a culture that has experienced the consequences of mass production and artificial means of living, America is trying to build, but backwards. Starting with the arts. Looking to establish community in order to make further developments. Arts positioned to bring community together. What I learned from IRC and what I’ve been researching -Art as a binding identity.
1994 – Upenn started Social Impact of the Arts project SIAP
We are fortunate to be working with a community that has an established identity. Arts and culture are so embedded in our society, we don’t know what life is like with out it. Political turmoil in Karachi, trying to bring people together through arts. (Truck Art)
SPILLOVER EFFECT, HOMOGENOUS CULTURE = sustainable development goals falling in naturally. CULTURE is important, everyone wants the same thing. Lahore vs Karachi
considering this when it comes to cross sector relationship of healthcare and art, how does healthcare fall in naturally??
Measuring impact of the arts.
THIS CONCEPT IS NOT NEW, we’re already practicing it, but we just don’t know it.
Spillover effect, happens naturally
Neighborhoods with a vital cultural life also enjoy “spillover effects” – including stronger community and civic engagement; better health, schooling, and personal security; and economic revitalization.
Working WITH communities not FOR them
Aesthetics of culture, like a tree -> identity/lineage (takes the landscape into consideration)
Intrinsic value of arts, part of life, By engaging in art, people's spiritual and emotional feelings are lifted and deepened. art reestablishes our personal value to want to live better, to want better education and healthcare, tied into skill and craft making
Art --> Capability Approach Intrinsic value of well being education
Capability Approach was first articulated by the Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen in the 1980s
Khazana re-establishing intrinsic value for women, pass this on to kids, want better education for them
Women earning, bringing in cash
IRC providing resources, but why do people WANT to live life of value? What is creating this value? Not just providing resources,but trying to employ people to WANT to want to use the resources
Vision- making life choices in an informed manner
Dr. Umar Abdullah’s research. Tending to the Earth, Living with God’s Creation
Community Cultural Ecology, How do we define what is art, broader definition Permaculture
oasis, describes it as a community, which is a self-contained incubator a. the cultivation of land, b. skills and trades, and c. community and collaborative action. Khazana is part of the skills and trade
IRC building OASIS for Kahirpur
We've separated ourselves from land and let food be a commodity. If we separate ourselves from land then we give into the systems that have imprisoned us, and want us to remain disconnected from it. THIS CREATES A BARRIER to arts and culture of permaculture. same can be said for goods and the mass produced everyday products.
“If you want community, you must have land. Permaculture: take land that is worthless and make it live. Got to have water and find means of storing it. Then produce food.”
Land → human interaction with the landscape notion that some cultures address landscapes with a pure heart as opposed to violently destroying it is grounded in overly romantic view of the past. Difference between action and future is manner of action.
If we want to create oasis that uses permaculture societies that have therapy and schooling and healthcare, a whole community, then BRING LAND TO LIFE. IRC already doing this with planting and cultivating land with students. America doing this with communities and kids, creating greenhouses, gardens, trying to build self sustainable communities. Created Oasis community on historical land that is open access to the public
Community Collaborative Action → make it thrive by coming together through land and facilitate happiness for everyone. Collaborative communities that nurture these things like ecological resilience.
Have to teach this knowledge to people, Artists and Poets already teaching it. Beautifying things
Dig deeper into preservation of Land and how it is tied to skills and trade. Khairpur → ecological and historical narrative so Identity rooted in land and becomes culture, folk songs, land part of religion. Culture and behavior towards landscape creates a dependency on a land this is the foundation of a sustainable community.
Language and Action in connection to Land (trying to re-establish this in Karachi)
3 Linguistic Forms: a desire to recognize the commonalities between language and landscape, not only in the ways we describe places but also in the modes of language that we elect to use in this description. Religious, Historical, Ancestral, like the culture tree of heritage
Land is valued and nurtured to grow food and used to create materials for textile and craft, physical embodiment
Nature: free from human interference
Culture: created purposely and decisively by people (usually on opposite ends of the Spectrum)
The Middle → Semantic Ecotone: provides model for recognizing that thought, ideas, and actions, like landscapes are complex constructions of overlapping layers. Transition zone between two different plant of ecological communities. Potential for bothmutal dependence and competition. Value for cultural and natural can be opportunity for collaboration → this way of thinking about landscape assists us in truly valuing it in a rich way.
Semantic ecotone regularly modified through human interaction w/landscape, notion that cultures address landscape with a pure heart while others destroy them is grounded in a overly romantic view of past, difference between past and future → manner of action
Idea that these two constructs are in opposition is essential a violent concept, dichotomy of two leads to violence.
Landscape Differentials both a word and ideal. IRC working instream with landscape and not altering it but adding to it.
Landscape as a Teacher Nature is a great educator, teacher, source of knowledge about life and its meaning
Ethnographic Landscape: Viewed through eyes of Specific Culture. Culture transforms nature into its own image, creating distinctive ethnographic landscapes. Such landscapes are pregnant with cultural meanings and uses.
Transforming Nature into Culture: land use practices, responses to landforms and natural environment (AJRAK) continued practice of “world-making” ethnographic landscapes change as people themselves and their culture changes. Responses to natural environment seen in buildings, structures, objects, vegetation, archaeological sites, all of which is Khairpur. With the changes coming into Khairpur, how is the landscape changing and the culture evolving if the outside world is coming in? How do we preserve this landscape so “modernity” doesn’t over power it. We have to take these things into consideration as the world around them is constantly evolving in a ethnographic landscape. This becomes Landscapes in Collision, people with different cultures and ideas come in, dictate use of landscape. But IRC is working with the community and its landscape to ensure the survival of the Sindhi culture.
Gender perception and experiences play a role in understanding the influence of landscape upon everyday life (gender specific experiences, how is Khazana giving women experience with the land?) GENDER EQUALITY
Ajrak- Usage evident in all levels of society and held in high esteem with the utmost respect given to it.
Tied into Skills and Trade → technology of the subcontinent
Promoting binding identity, where everybody wants good for themselves and for others through this art skill
Prior to modernity, engaging in skill was the universal norm (writing, cooking, etc.)
We are not in our bodies or minds but now in disembodied states
DIGNITY IS ACCESS, through being in your body and engaging through craft → engaged through body (Ghandi convinced of value through skill) VALUE in the skill of producing Ajrak
Only through cultivation of skills that we can escape from reliance on system that keeps us consumers and then we turn into producers and offer something more beautiful to the world (Pakistan market moving towards extreme consumerism, losing connection to land)
It's about equality. Integrated society doesn't separate religion from 'nature from necessity'→ binding force is equality Spirituality of Sindhis connected to land and textile (folk song)
Spiritual healing.meaning of art making INTRINSIC VALUES
Dr. Umar = Dreamers but how can we be practical? Theology and Metaphysics. We live in a living world but have divided world into intimate and non intimate, silent and speaking. But nothing in this world is dead, they all worship God, ex. Bricks are not dead, have atoms that are living molecules and praise God like everything in nature. (in the same way Sindhi sufism praises God through everything around it) We have to respect everything. Land water food all theology, each have rights. Rights of God, rights of servants of God, and rights of animal and livestock. Water has rights can't pollute it. This world is the garden of the animals and have to be their steuart. METAPHYSICS number is independent of matter. Number is not quantity but QUALITY! Changes are art and in everything. Golden ratio, architecture, Artists and Poets already teaching this knowledge to people bc makers of truth and beauty. (we are God's vessels so that his beauty can transpire in the world) value of crafts produced in Khazana
Value of arts: Engaged citizens, Peace Building and healing, Impact on urban life, improving well-being, economic benefits
Psychological functions of art: self understanding, hope, remembering
Art and culture→ drive cultural movement, capability approach-->khazana establishing value for women that they pass onto kids, providing a platform, not dictating taste if we're working with them not for them. Center is a Community asset
SPACES how communities imagine spaces open to their agency is crucial in shaping futures their members can devise. A space for women to continue to create Third Space Girls in khazana → improving intrinsic value for better health and education, giving them purpose. Producers, how is it connected to land and water and community? Khazana part of Collective Impact
See it as a means of production not healing or coming together. But what it really is doing is that its rebuilding our intrinsic value to want better things in life like education and health, and giving us a space to cultivate spiritual healing and meaning through art making. Used as a place of healing, not just economic revitalization Transitioning craft center as a place for art making for students
Through practical activities the crafts workers are encouraged to meet and share their experiences with each other. This way the training reduces social isolation and facilitates the artisans in extending their networks. This is a gain by itself, but it also enables them to continue to learn from each other also after the training.
A craft is learned and refined through years of dedicated study and relevant full-time practice, observing and being surrounded by those more proficient—learning through participation. This teaches the correct selection and use of tools, equipment, and materials and develops the ability to know what they are, and are not, capable of in the production of first-class work.
This and exposure to various broad site experiences, enhances the ability to analyse and assess all situations with critical thinking. It facilitates questioning assessment of presented facts, enabling one to draw on this base in order to fully evaluate the presented data to make well-reasoned and informed judgements.
The STEM to STEAM movement has been taking root over the past several years and is surging forward as a positive mode of action to truly meet the needs of a 21st century economy. STEM alone misses several key components that many employers, educators, and parents have voiced as critical for our children to thrive in the present and rapidly approaching future. VISUAL INTELLIGENCE, uses two or more
STEAM takes STEM to the next level, takes principles of STEM and integrates the arts
IRC providing tablets, has technology, Becoming a STEAM teacher
Butterfly works, How Khazana came to be, The Skillful Artisan: Craft skills passed down from generation to generation, earn money
We are the negotiators in the market
Trainer not teacher but facilitators
12 step curriculum and made local version
FUNDED by European Union EU SOFT POWER= ability of one nation to shape preferences of another through attraction and influence, rather than force “propaganda” Joseph Nye
Control + power, 46 million euros
Why these nations fund initiatives in our countries, giving with strings attached, colonizing without actually taking over and putting dictators in place to do their job “Neocolonialism” who gets to make decisions and whos in power. We have our beliefs and preferences shaped and affected by the powerful often without us even realizing it
Idea of power to shape desires and beliefs, concept of soft power= ability to influence behavior of others to get outcomes one wants. They do this through art and culture!
This is why we need to be self sufficient!
When government begins to take role of culture within international relations more seriously
Britain reoriented its efforts away from cultural diplomacy and toward soft power
Economic and political power is unequivocally shifting away from the west, cultural power seems to remain firmly fixed and rooted
Soft power resources channelled into new areas, are the weaker communities of Pakistan being exploited?
Art participation and education → where is this culture coming from?
Swadeshi - Self-Sufficiency
Look to village for supply of our daily needs
No objection to villager using modern machines and tools that they can make and afford to use
Pakistan has become an open market for clothing, food, etc. INDUSTRIALIZATION on mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come in. Cheapening fabric? Causes of Decline for village industries: importing goods and food from other countries. Purchasing ill-health in bargain (food) Gandhi talks about soft power too, any country that exposes itself to the unlimited foreign competition can be reduced to starvation and therefore, subjection if the foreigners desire it. “Peaceful penetration”
Khaddar→ concern for the dignity and status of the village unit as against the big cities and of the individual against the machine. Dr. Umar Dignity of access (slide 12)
Problem of re-establishment of justice between the town and the village, balance tipped in favor of the former to the disadvantage of the latter
2. Dangers of Mechanization
Takes away from using HANDS, talks about connection to the land
Villagers may work under supervision and according to plan (butterfly works)
When production and consumption localized, temptation to speed up production indefinitely and at any price disappears (like ajrak, producing and buying less, wasting less resources) Mass production in england and america creating more want producing more but haven't abolished unemployment
3. Rehabilitation of village industries
Our clear duty to find ways to keep VI thriving
We have na obligation to market their products and not to exploit them but to share their work with the world and provide an economic income, prefer their products and local competition. Hard but important, true swadeshi. Can’t be intimidated, think of our nation's progress Evoke the artistic talent of the villager.
If we as individuals believe that the revivification of villages is a necessity of our existence, if we believe that thereby only can we put them first instead of putting the city life before them for imitation. If correct attitude then we begin with ourselves and use/buy from village.
Our wants can be satisfied by the village and not western products, develop a new national taste. (Khaadi story)
4. Difficulties in the way
Should be sold in city and villagers should develop such a high degree of skill that articles prepared by them should command a ready market outside
Quality over brand name
Craft, art, health, and education should be all integrated into one scheme (OASIS)
Begin with yourself, replace everyday foreign products with village products.
Start this change with knowledge and education, not “mainstreaming” them, what is the mainstream? Gov work with village and provide them with tools and materials,
Must have simple industry to complement agriculture
Ajrak, like charka, becomes useful and indispensable article for every home, symbol of nation's prosperity and freedom
Khazana’s ROLE IN EDUCATION - center becomes source of art production for everyone and after school activities
social inclusion by means of employment through art & education initiatives
What positive effects has Khazana had on these women? Their kids and families?
Art classes, integrating “art and crafts” in classrooms, after school clubs, art in cafe (organizations with art in their office)
Khazana in city saying WE ARE HERE WE BELONG visibility of IRC in mainstream market, distance of village and city announcing Khairpur is here and the work that is being done there. Disconnect of city and village in Karachi bc village not easily accessible.
Humanizing the buying experience
If we believe the village should not only survive but become strong and flourish, then the village perspective is the only correct viewpoint, so no place for glamour and pomp of cities, no necessities for games and other entertainments that belong to the cities
Not source of income, not advertising medium for traders, no sales allowed there?
Exhibition should be a medium of education should be attractive and it should be such as to infuse the villager the impulse to take to some industry or the other
Should bring out glaring defects and drawbacks in the present day village life, and show methods to be adopted to set them right. Be able to indicate the extent of achievement in that direction ever since the idea of village uplift was sponsored. Should teach how to make village life artistic
Two models of villages, one as it exists today, and the other as improved one, use books, charts, and pictures to show what industries give increased income and how, VISUALIZE the change and process of supporting village industries
Must show how to conduct village industries, where from to obtain the needed implements nad how to make them. Also include village diet, village culture, music, etc.
CONSCIOUS CONSUMER not advertising products but educating about process and knowledge! Comparison between village industry and machine industry Pull vs Push Strategy
Social Mobilizers in village, Social Educators in city, Fair Trade: Simple is beautiful, new and evolving economy for evolving cultural movement IRC’s work
Visualizing the process and effect/cycle of supporting village industries Khazana Tour Treasures of Sindh, inviting people in, talking about history of Khairpur and what it has to offer
I Am Karachi Model, involving youth hiring marketing interns
Push - promotes products by pushing them onto people
Pull - idea to establish loyal following and draw consumers to products
SWOT analysis conduct to learn about market strengths and weaknesses
Target Market - Karachi, Sindh culture, local Identify customers, foreigners, youth → have a voice making change in Karachi. Increased purchasing power of youth I AM KARACHI
Distribution Strategy gaining visibility in high volume areas, bigger stores, malls. WE ARE HERE WE BELONG, what the arts say and do. Fairs, universities, forged distribution path into region or let customers create it bc of their loyalty. Adequate distribution network, takes transportation infrastructure into account
Identify Stakeholders and expand and retain customers, ecosystem of stakeholders, villagers. Move into detailed markets through educating about Khazana and work of IRC
Global Markets Importing to ten thousand villages, fair traders, import from Pakistan already https://www.tenthousandvillages.com
Village Industries, M.K. Gandhi
Tending the Earth, The Art of Living with God’s Creation, Dr. Umar Abd-Allah
Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America, ed. Arnold R. Alanen & Robert Z. Melnick
Simple is Beautiful E.F. Schumacher → talks about man’s connection to land and education as the most vital resource