The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu

The British Council in the Philippines and the Plymouth College of Art (PCA) are bringing the global Making Futures conference to Cebu City this March 6-8, 2020, at Quest Hotel and Conference Center to explore the role of craft communities towards a sustainable future.

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu | Cebu Finest

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu

“This gathering will be a relevant forum to ping pong ideas for a global culture in search of meaning and balance,” Kidlat Tahimik, Philippine National Artist for Film, said.

Kidlat Tahimik is headlining the conference together with Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui of Pakistan’s polly & other stories; Tomas Diez Ladera of Fab Lab Barcelona; Hamza Cherif D’ouezzan and Kenza Oulaghada of The Anou from Morocco; and sustainable design expert Cameron Tonkenwise of the University of Technology Sydney.

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu | Cebu Finest

Kidlat Tahimik (center), National Artist of the Philippines for Film, and Making Futures Keynote Speaker during the panel press conference in Cebu City

The conference seeks to dispel the notion that craft is a dying sector. Some of the issues to be discussed are dwindling natural resources, the struggles of craft enterprises, and the importance of leadership in sustaining the craft sector.

While challenges continue to threaten artisans and practices such as weaving, a paradigm shift seems to be taking place, acknowledging the role of culture in holistic, sustainable development.

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu | Cebu Finest

Preview of the special setting arts and crafts exhibit at Making Futures Philippines

In fact, a study commissioned by the British Council revealed that interventions from government and private stakeholders, as well as renewed interest from consumers, have helped propel the craft sector — particularly handwoven textiles — back into the limelight.

“This conference provides a unique opportunity to initiate collaboration between artisans, designers, researchers, and techies. It will explore how craft and maker movements can develop a strong international crafts community that is in touch with cultural heritage and open to innovation and development,” Pilar Aramayo-Prudencio, British Council in the Philippines Country Director, said. “We see leaders and makers of the craft sector as change agents that redefine the role of craft towards a more sustainable future.”

The international conference is pioneered by Plymouth College of Art and runs every two years. It is the first time the conference is being held in Southeast Asia. This year’s event is supported by the Crafting Futures programme of the British Council.

Given the relevance of the issues in the Philippines, the event has also attracted the support of the DTI-Design Center of the Philippines and the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute. Both government agencies are spearheading innovations across craft, design, enterprise, and the sciences.

Cebu City, where the conference is being held, was hailed UNESCO Creative City for Design last December 2019.

The Panel Press Conference

The panel press conference for “Making Futures: Rethinking Craft Communities, Taking on Global Challenges” was held on March 5, 2020, at 6F Hillary Room, Quest Hotel in Cebu City.

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu | Cebu Finest

The panel press conference for Making Futures Philippines in Cebu City last March 5, 2020, at Quest Hotel Cebu

The panelists during the press conference are Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist of the Philippines for Film; Making Futures Keynote Speaker; Butch Carungay, MATIC Hub Board Member; Cebu UNESCO Creative City initiative; Caroline Meaby, Director Arts Network, British Council; and Malcolm Ferris, Curator, Making Futures; Plymouth College of Art.

Malaya Del Rosario, Head of Art and Creative Industries, British Council, served as the Moderator for the panel press conference.

The British Council in the Philippines gathers artisans and techies in Cebu | Cebu Finest

CRAFT SELFIE: Kidlat Tahimik with his wooden “selfie camera”, together with the panel and members of the British Council Philippines, DTI and DOST after the press conference.

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To know more about Making Futures Philippines, and the Making Futures conference in Cebu City, visit the British Council Philippines website today. You can also follow their Facebook Page for details.

For the Crafting Futures programme, please contact Malaya.DelRosario@britishcouncil.org.ph.

About Crafting Futures

The Crafting Futures is a global programme of the British Council that aims to foster economic and social empowerment through the development of creative social and design-led skills for artisans and designers, with a specific focus on promoting social innovation, fair and ethical collaborations, and an appreciation for cultural heritage. The programme is envisioned to foster new collaborations and mutual learning between the UK and South and East Asia. It will be launched in the Philippines this 2020.

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