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Khadi: From symbol of India’s freedom to fashion statement

To help promote local artisans and weavers across the country, an exhibition here seeks to encourage larger use of Khadi - a fabric that has transformed from being a symbol of India's freedom struggle to become a style statement.


By   |  Updated On : October 25, 2016 11:27 PM
Representative (Getty Images)

Representative (Getty Images)

New Delhi :  

To help promote local artisans and weavers across the country, an exhibition here seeks to encourage larger use of Khadi - a fabric that has transformed from being a symbol of India's freedom struggle to become a style statement.

Titled 'The Khadi March: Just Five Meters', the solo show by Shelly Jyoti at India Habitat Centre here underlines the importance of 'khadi' portraying the fabric as a mark of self-purification, self-reliance and independence.

"The show is a call to action that challenges people who live in urban cities to grant dignity to the rural brethren and to rethink our engagement with the spinners, weavers and people who work with handicrafts in the villages.

"It is designed to be a study for those who want to understand what the khadi movement stands for, and what it has been able to do," says Jyoti.

According to the artist, following Mahatma Gandhi's proposition of buying 'five yards of khadi' each, India's urban population can transform the lives of rural artisans and enrich their livelihoods.

"Five meters of cloth is an individual's necessity to cover themselves. So, I wanted to explore the 300 million urban population for whom buying just 5 meters of khadi is not a big thing but their efforts can change the life of millions in the rural areas," she says.

One of the installations titled, 'The Yarn Wheel' has been made up of 1000 hand spun cotton yarns to capture the meditative process of spinning the wheel in stark contrast to machine made thread.

Jyoti has worked extensively with Ajrakh artisans from Kutch and with kantha embroiderers from West Bengal for the show that features several khadi installations, 20 Ajrakh textile artworks, a multi-media spoken poetry art and a documentary on Ajrakh textile process.

"While working with those who have inherited these textile traditions and are passing them on to the next generations, I have been able to see through the critical relationship between an artisan as a creator and an artist as a visualizer," she says.

First Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 11:24 PM


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