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Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connection and Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Meet Makers. Make a DifferenceOaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids *MINNA *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Mexican Anthropologist Marta Turok to Give Keynote at WARP Textile Conference
Marta Turok, the noted Mexican applied anthropologist and specialist in folk art and textiles, will give the keynote address at the WARP (Weaving a Real Peace) International Conference in Oaxaca, on Saturday, June 9, 2017.
I’ve been working with WARP and program chair Judy Newland for the better part of a year to help organize the conference. Marta just wrote this morning to summarize the remarks she will make.
Textiles from the village of Cancuc, Chiapas
“My talk will focus on how I learned that a project requires a methodology. It begins with a good assessment (diagnostic) in order to draw a master plan. There are many imponderables as the project continues and one has to be constantly evaluating to see how to make adjustments.
This diagnostic includes understanding the role of crafts production and marketing in the community/region, the number of craftspeople/families involved, the capacities that exist and those that need to be developed, how raw materials are acquired and distributed, what the means of production are, what markets one wants to target.
The approach should be integral, analyzing the environmental, cultural and socio-economic issues surrounding the community and the group. The clearer the goals, the more investment in capacity building and decision-making, the better chance the group will be able to appropriate the process.”
Applied anthropologist Marta Turok to speak in Oaxaca
Click Here to see the complete program and to register. It’s not too late!
Other conference speakers include Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation representative Lorena de la Piedra, Zapotec weaver Porfirio Gutierrez, designer and natual dye expert Rocio Mena Gutierrez, University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty member Carolyn Kallenborn, social entrepreneur Ana Paula Fuentes, and founder of Chamuchic project Claudia Muñoz Morales.
There will be an expoventa (exhibition and sale) of folk art and textiles on June 9 in the ex-convento San Pablo patio presented by Andares Arte Popular. On Saturday, June 10, conference-goers will travel to villages to meet textile artisans as part of their conference registration.
Here is the complete Program
Saturday, June 9, 2017
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
Morning Sessions –
9:30 Cindy Lair, WARP President – Welcome and Acknowledgments
9:45-10:30 Marta Turok, our keynote speaker from Mexico City, an applied anthropologist who focuses on socio-economic artisan development in Mexico; she is considered one of the foremost experts on Mexican Folk Art and will discuss her work and what it means for artisans in a global world market
10:30-11:15 Lorena De la Piedra will discuss the work of the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation, it’s commitment to artisan development, bringing products to market and the natural dye culture of Oaxaca
11-30-12:15 Porfirio Gutierrez, Teotitlan del Valle master weaver, will present innovation and preservation in Zapotec Weaving – the evolution of design and the incorporation of innovative materials
LUNCH from 12:30 – 1:45pm
2pm-3pm Panel Presentation followed by roundtables discussions with all attendees participating
Topic: Working with Indigenous Artisans to create fashion and design projects, bringing products to market, design influences, integrity of design, cultural impact, ethical issues and challenges.
3:00–3:30 Attendees will select discussion questions prior to meeting and break into small groups with leaders to talk about issues/ideas facing textile artisans around the world, including attribution, copyright, and working with foreign designers
3:45 Scholarship winners 5 minute presentations
1:00–7:00 ExpoVenta – a marketplace of regional artisans at San Pablo Cultural Center
6:00–7:30 Reception with visits to Museo Textil de Oaxaca which is next door
Saturday, June 10, 2017
8:00 a.m. Breakfast – we will have the WARP Annual Meeting during our Saturday breakfast
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Natural Dye Weaving and Textile Tour, includes van transportation, lunch and visits to artisan studios with demonstrations and discussion of the natural dye tradition in Oaxaca, Mexico. Participants will meet weavers of rugs, home goods, handbags and clothing in their home studios. Tour will make four stops. You will see weavers working on the flying shuttle loom and tapestry loom. See traditional carding, spinning and dyeing methods using cochineal, indigo and other local plant sources. We offer honoraria to artisan-demonstrators on your behalf. Tour provider is Norma Schafer, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.