Minsk hosted I, CULTURE Contemporary Crafts - a series of research on craft and workshops in sewing. The global quilt traveled to Belarus for the volunteer-led installment of the Polish Presidency flagship project
Each installment of the project engages a different independent institution in the 12 capitals around the world. Research conducted locally by a team of volunteers explores the meaning of craft. Following the research, workshops with special sewing stands open up, inviting all those interested to participate. The I, CULTURE session closes with participants arranging their pieces together on a huge square to form a part of the I, CULTURE logo.
In Minsk, the training session for volunteers began on the15th of September and lasted through the 17th. On the 18th, volunteers came together with locals to help them in creating their own crafts projects - and contributing to the universal I, CULTURE quilt.
Artist and fashion designer Monika Jakubiak together with the group of volunteers teach participants to sew, remake their clothing and re-use it in different ways. Anybody interested was invited to come up to the stand, take a piece of fabric, sit down by the machine and start sewing. An important part of the event was also a street poll on which of the crafts has the best chances of endurance in our culture. Volunteers also instigated discussions on the role of traditional crafts in the digital age (Why do we buy new shirts and sweaters instead of going to a tailor? Where do our clothes come from and why?) They shared their thoughts and predictions as to which crafts will hold (see the I, CULTURE page for our online poll) and thread together an informal history of craftsmanship.
Various works that were sewn up as part of the Minsk project will be put together and photographed to form a part of the I, CULTURE theme puzzle.
Artist Monika Jakubiak is one of the project's key figures. Through, I, CULTURE she explores how tailoring/sewing clothes can act as a means of furthering cultural ties and knowledge. The venture is also a means of discussing inter-European relations. Jakubiak's workshops are open to the public and video highlights of the I, CULTURE project can be found online.
Minsk marked the second Eastern European stop of the I, CULTURE Contemporary Crafts Project tour after Kiev. The next capital hosting the project after Minsk on the 23rd of September is Moscow. The project had its previous installments in London, Paris Madrid, Brussels and Berlin.
Date: 15th-18th of September, 2011
Venue: Galeria Ў, 37a Independence Avenue (workshops), Palace of Art, 3 Kozlova Street (finale), Minsk
I, CULTURE is a Flagship Project of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council. For more information, see: I, CULTURE
Organised by: Adam Mickiewicz Institute