Cloth, Culture and Development
The Roundtable “Cloth, Culture and Development” seeks to engage with a variety of issues pertaining to the production, transmission, exchange and use of culturally valued cloths hand woven by women in different parts of mainland south-east Asia. Our focus on artisanal weaving is inspired from a previous IIAS Roundtable on Ikat Weaving (tenun ikat) as Heritage for Sustainable Development held in October 2012 in Ndao, a small coastal village of Nusa Tengarra Timor (NTT) province in eastern Indonesia where ikat (yarn resist-dyed) cloth is an important trope in the state discourse and practice for promoting regional development. The aim is to both articulate and juxtapose wider narratives of history, culture, development and globalization that locate cloth within national, regional, global and disciplinary frames.
The theme based interactive Roundtable will have a two-fold objective (1) to provide a common platform for diverse stakeholders - weavers, traders, local-level governmental agencies, politicians, national and international textile designers, collectors, development professionals and scholars, in order for them to share and contextualize their respective perspectives; (2) to render the contradictions in their viewpoints explicit and to recast them in ways that are sensitive to the shifting dynamics of culture and development in Asia. The exercise will be concluded with the development of a policy-relevant report with a series of recommendations.