Intercultural Dialogue @ St.James Cavallier

The Involvement of KKG in EYID

KKG has been involved in the project called F.I.V.E. that will take place throughout the European Year of Intercultrual Diaologue, as soon as its proposal for the project was welcomed in Septemebr 2007. It was invited to the two meetings in which all partners involved were present. Since then, it has been in constant communication and dialogue with the project managers, to carry out and prepare the work for its role in the project.

KKG is mainly involved in the “Touch” sense of the project and it has so far identified 2 fair trade producer groups: Fair Trade Egypt, Egypt and Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society, Betlehem, Palestine. Two persons from each group will be in Malta in March (Egyptians) and September (Palestinians) 2008.

One of the Egyptians will be an artisan woman from the Shandawyl Women Group:

More than 20 women embroiderers constitute this artisan group. Like most women from Shandawyl Island, our artisans have hand-decorated scarves for generations. Embroiderers spend days perfecting pieces that will either find their way into their wardrobes or into their homes, as fancy wall decorations.

Their creations stand out from other pieces of Upper Egypt, because of their consistency and cheerfulness. The items FTE sells are light-as-air pure Egyptian cotton sheaths. The sheerness of Shandawyl Women Group products makes them ideal companions to any hot or humid summer outing. The weave in these scarves is so thin that they can comfortably be worn around the neck, yet the dimensions are wide enough to allow them to double as a cool summer wrap. Besides their exceptional fabric, these scarves also showcase the most colorful embroideries you can imagine. Our artisans sew a virtual garden of plants and blooms in the brightest, happiest colors onto the sheath. The different flora designs are all based on time-honored traditional Shandawyl motifs. The naïve coloring and rendition of these products even turn them into appropriate gifts for teenagers.

One of the Palestinians will be an artisan man who works Olive Wood handicrafts:

The Holy Land Handcraft Cooperative Society was established in 1981 as a means of countering the deterioration of the local handicrafts industry brought about by occupation, which had begun to impact the handicrafts trade by the late 1970s. The Cooperative sought to do this by encouraging coordination between local independent producers and businessmen, establishing joint projects and facilitating cooperative problem solving.

In its early phase, the Cooperative aimed to help the craftsmen and the tourist industry to overcome the financial problems caused by seasonal marketing and by slow tourist seasons. Its founders also planned to develop strategies to facilitate the direct import of raw materials and to improve marketing strategies, locally and abroad. The Cooperative was registered according to the Jordanian Law (#17) of Cooperative Associations on May 21, 1981.

In 1990, its membership was comprised of 36 shareholders, most of them local owners of workshops and souvenir shops.

During the first period of its existence, the Cooperative Society focused its efforts on the establishment and expansion of its own shop as a vital instrument to support members and small workshop owners during slow tourist seasons. However, due to financial limitations, its ability to purchase handcraft articles from producers during off-season remained lower than had been hoped.

Bulk purchasing of raw materials enabled the Cooperative to purchase at lower prices and then pass this dividend on to its members. The Cooperative granted loans to members and owners of workshops who, due to financial difficulties, were no longer able to pay the salaries of their employees.

KKG has also been assigned the role of identifying two european artisans.

One of them is from Italy and is a male artisan of stone-work and the other is from Cyprus a female artisan in Jewellery of whose expertise is in contemporary costume jewelry.

The idea behind bringing foreign artisans to Malta, is to twin each one of them to local artisans with the same skill and hence create intercultural dialogue through the sense of Touch. Two stalls will be held in two different markets and fairs for each artisan visit, which is meant to display and also create a dialogue with the general public. Furthermore, a workshop will be held with artisans and there is also in plan, a visit to one of the post-secondary colleges for an exchange with students who are studying these skills.

About the Italian Artisan

Fernando Perrone was born in Lecce, where he still lives and where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 1986, he has been designing and creating objects in “pietra Leccese” (Leccestone) for their trademark TRACCE (traces), giving a modern interpretation to this extraordinary material. His creations are exclusively handmade and each one is unique.

His work is closely linked to the land and therefore has a decidedly ancient Mediterranean flavour, rich in archaic and primitive imagery. Inspiration is gained from both the “barocco salentino” (Salento baroque), as from the cultures of other Mediterranean countries, borrowing ideas with which to “contaminate” their work. It’s in this way that the combinations of patterns and material come about. Whilst the objects are nevertheless functional and lend themselves perfectly to the world of interior design, there is this continual reference to nature, the land and the imagination.

About the Cyprian Artisan

YLYR…signature, was initially founded in London 2004 by Kristina Apostolou, an inspiring young designer who graduated from London’s famous Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design and later honed her craft working as head designer for and alongside London based company AQUA Studio.

Kristina’s work reveals a unique passion for exploring novel forms and innovative materials, thus creating exclusive pieces that celebrate femininity in all its glory!

Her individual and distinctive eye for detail is highly evident in her work, as her exclusive style unfolds each season upon presentation of her new collections.

Producers from Palestine