Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Textile Society Symposium Recap

Textile Society Symposium Recap

"I left there with a lot to think about for my work as well as my personal direction with textiles and the future of Slow Cloth as an entity and as an idea. One thing that always comes up for me is the lack of diversity -- in age and gender, in particular -- in the textile community. Young people are coming in, but too often as a marketing target, as consumers of craft products. And men are mostly there if they come from other countries, by and large, or in a celebrity role to audiences of women, so it often seems a little out of balance.

The question is, I suppose, do we want it to be different? I think we do, because diversity is a core concept of sustainability. And because any group with 99% one gender or age group all the time tends to magnify any flaws or weaknesses in communication style and interaction of that gender or age group. Anyway, that's a big topic for another time. I think the energy of the textile community would change if it were more diverse in any number of ways, but maybe I'm just projecting my own discomfort with groups of all kinds"

These are the words of Elaine Lipson, written as part of her review of the Textile Society Symposium.

Her reflections hold true for many of us struggling with the issues of sustainability in arts and crafts. I don't just undertake the practice of crafts for something to do and a hobby to quiet my mind, I HAVE to practice them, as they are part of my core-being and who I am.

I have also struggled and blogged about any group with one gender or mind-set, and I think Elaine makes the point well and clear here..

There is no one answer, but understanding the problem could be part of the resolution.

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