Samaanata, an international event of Indo-Australian dialogue on craft & culture, 2013. Sangam Project and Collaborative Community partnered to bring the third and final year of an exciting journey of craft and cultural design to a resounding end in Bangalore, in the form of Samaanata. Samaanata translates to mean ‘equal respect’ in Sanskrit, where the focus extends beyond the artisan and designer to include the user to explore equitable market linkages. The previous two editions of Sangam Project were held in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.
Samaanata was a two day conference that opened up new avenues and creates a platform for fair partnerships between designers, artisans and consumers. Talks, round table meetings and panel discussions aim at creating a scenario where the DESIGNER = ARTISAN = USER. The event focused on looking at existing and emerging trends in market linkages and new business models like e-commerce. There are new organizations and facilitators bridging the gap between market and craft ecosystem by streamlining supply chain, building resources for artisans, training, product development and marketing intervention. This forum brought diverse stakeholders from Australia and India to participate in this event. The event was supported by credible partners, Victorian Government Business Office India, Swiss Arts Council India (Prohelvetia) and British Council Arts India.
The profile of organizations and individuals at the event reflected the diversity of stakeholders in the craft sector from artisan communities, craft clusters, craft organizations, retailers, facilitators, craft councils to designers, anthropologists, social entrepreneurs, women entrepreneur, impact investors, researchers and educationists. The discussions revolved around the role and relevance of craft in the modernization process, role of artisan beyond the skills, new opportunities for market linkages, new design interventions, new emerging business platforms for craft and the future of craft in a more equitable scenario.