11.09.2019 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

UNESCO provides support to the Crafts and Culture-based Creative Industries of Bamiyan

During the second two-day workshop, jointly-organised with Turquoise Mountain ©UNESCO.

2019.09.11 | UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) have recently organized a one-week event aiming at documenting and providing support to the development of the culture-based creative industries of Afghanistan. This initiative, possible due to the generous support of the European Union, took place between August 28 and September 4, in Bamiyan.

Following an initial training funded by the Government of Italy in 2018, with the purpose of conducting a pilot-study on the consumption of cultural goods and establishing the first stage of a Cultural Map of creative industries within the Bamiyan World Heritage property, UNESCO and the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of Turquoise Mountain (TM), conducted two workshops and one survey involving 100 participants, between trainees and craft makers.

A first two-day workshop (August 28 and 29) was aimed at a) providing participants with a summary review of the survey on consumption of cultural goods, conducted in 2018; b) presenting the World Crafts Council (WCC) Award of Excellence program, with a view to work with craft makers from Bamiyan and prepare a nomination for 2020; and c) discussing market strategies and the plans for the crafts and the culture-based creative industries in Bamiyan. Participants to this workshop included craft makers, local NGOs, local Government representatives, and teachers and students from Bamiyan University.                                           

The following four days (August 30 to September 2) were devoted to a pilot survey aimed at investigating the production of crafts in Bamiyan, especially textiles (felt making, weaving and embroidery). On the first day, UNESCO’s craft expert, Dr. Joseph Lo provided training to six participants who then conducted the survey during the following two days. On the last day, the questionnaires were translated to English and the information retrieved was consolidated.

The last two days of this activity (September 3 and 4) were focused on a quality training aimed at discussing how to improve the crafts and culture-based creative industries in Bamiyan. It was led by both Dr. Joseph Lo and staff from Turquoise Mountain. Participants to this workshop were mostly craft makers, local ONGs that deal with crafts and local Government officials.

During the two workshops and as a result of the pilot-survey conducted, a clear need for additional capacity building initiatives to improve the crafts and culture-based creative industries was identified. UNESCO remains committed to continue working closely with the Government and craft makers, to prepare a strong nomination to the WCC Award of Excellence in 2020 and to provide support to the crafts and culture-based creative industries, in Bamiyan and across Afghanistan.




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