As part of the ‘Art Walk’ series we paid a visit to the handloom weaving units in Chendamangalam. It was work as usual for the weavers when we entered the premises – the sounds of the rhythmic weaving pervading the hall; a quiet satisfaction and gratitude among the members for getting their livelihoods back.
During our interaction with them, they broke into happy smiles while talking about how quickly they got back on their feet after the difficulties they faced due to the floods. In fact, they said that things actually turned for the better, with the intervention of the designers who launched a campaign to help the units, and with the support from the government as well. The government’s commendable decision to use handloom fabrics for school uniforms has helped the members earn more wages daily. This has helped bring back weavers, who moved to other areas of work, back into the co-op societies.
The weavers’ co-operative societies in Paravoor suffered great loss due to the calamitous floods; the worst-affected being Chendamangalam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society - H47. The manufacturing unit was submerged during the floods causing many looms to be irreparably damaged.
A group of designers, for whom the society had earlier provided fabrics, came forward to create a campaign to help support the weavers and rebuild the co-op societies.
Inspired by their story, we set out to experience the impact their efforts had on the community of weavers. Here we share a few Behind the Scenes images taken during the trip where we interacted with the designers - Shalini James of Mantra, Sreejith Jeevan of Rouka, Indu Menon of Kara Weaves - and with the weavers of Chendamangalam themselves.
Stay tuned for ‘The Revival’!
Shalini James of Mantra
Sreejith Jeevan of ROUKA by Sreejith Jeevan
Indu Menon of Kara Weaves