With Karmit Even-Zur
in collaboration with
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THE POETICS OF CRAFT
‘In any creative work, be it the artist or the artisan, the creative person unites with the material they are working with, which symbolises the world outside him/herself. The worker and the artefact become one. The human being becomes one with his creation. ‘ Erich Fromm
The word Poiein in Ancient Greek (ποιεῖν) means making. It is where the word Poetry comes from. Plato had pointed at the connection between craft-making and poetry, calling us to gaze at the rich worlds of form and meaning that come to life when we take raw material from our landscape and create with it. It is possible, when we look at a handcrafted object, to appreciate the emotion and soul life that the maker had infused in it.
Sefrou is located in the heart of the middle Atlas. Traditionally, a market town located amidst fertile farming lands, it is known for its fruit orchards, cherry festival and the large Jewish community that lived there up until the last century. Sefrou is still home to a large community of local artisans, metal smiths, woodworkers, weavers and button makers. Though the community is still thriving, few are the ones of the young generation who wish to learn these skills.
Visiting local crafts people in their workshops, we will learn about their work and daily lives as a way to get a sense of the place through the people and their working spaces. An orientation of the city from the inside out hosted by Culture Vultures, will lead us into a deeper relationship with Amazigh women who spin and weave and we will participate in a hands own textile workshop.
We will be introduced to ‘The Loom in Local Rituals’ and how women used the loom as a sacred medium for protection. On Sunday we will make a day trip to a mountain market town in the Middle Atlas where the wool comes from, to meet women who practice unbroken textile traditions in the region.
Alongside these visits our work will consist of listening to the stories that emerge from our activities, as well as engage with traditional stories from around the world to bring into clearer focus the role of craft-making in the life of the Soul. On our last day we will share these stories in a storytelling evening (no previous experience necessary). Daily shamanic practices will help us access ancestral knowledge and seek healing for modern day’s rupture between skill and community, craft and Time.
Poetics of craft has been a life changing experience for me and a lot different of what I expected.
As a weaver I was interested in meeting local artisans and explore the local weaving techniques and products. The program has been a massive revelation for my research. I worked with local Amazigh women who taught me secrets of their craft and I spent time within women communities that share matriarchal values.
Moreover I met some admirable women from around the world participating in the program. We all formed an amazing team that shared common interests but on the same time bringing so many different elements together. Weaving and storytelling had been intertwined throughout this
experience and left me with some impressive characters to remind me different ways a woman can be.
Thank you all for this magic journey and a massive thank you to Karmit Evenzur and Jess Stephens for making it happen.
M. Varela, Artist