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 Pottery
“Ghadai” is a pottery exhibition conceptualized by KHAMIR, to showcase the handicraft of the Kumbhars, potters of Kutch. The exhibition will trace the history of the Kutch potters, as well as present exceptional pottery pieces created especially for the project. The word “Ghadai” refers to the name of the unique and highly skilled technique used by traditional potters to create large objects of pottery.

Final Invite CC [Converted]

Ghadai  is the result of extensive field work and the hope that the potters of Kutch hold for their future. The exhibition displays the traditional products that once were a part of people’s lives in Kutch. The pieces highlight extraordinary skill, the wise use of tools, techniques and limited resources which made each form unique.
The project began with a tracing of the history of pottery in the Kutch region, where the team from KHAMIR travelled through different villages, talking, interacting and filming the artisans in order to be able to compile a comprehensive history of the craft. The final result is an exhibition that showcases the pottery of Kutch, its archaeology and 7000 year-old history and the social relevance of not just the craft but most importantly of the potter – known as the “prajapati”, lord of the people.
Watch the trailer of the exhibition here

The highlight of the exhibition is the exceptional pottery pieces created by artisans from various pottery clusters. These pieces are recreations of traditional pottery objects that were used in the region but have been lost to time. As a result of a largely oral tradition of continuing know-how, and the lack of formalized curation and documentation of traditional crafts, some of these pieces are not even found in museums. It was through dedicated efforts of the team that potters were identified who were familiar with the techniques of making these forms.
The Ghadai show opens at the KHAMIR campus in Bhuj, Kutch on January 17th, 2015 and will be on till the 31st of March. 2015. During this time it will also travel to Mumbai for a special display at Hermès, 15 A Horniman Circle, Mumbai from February 12th to March 1st 2015.
Do not miss it!

Even after all these years, Musabhai remembers precisely the printed motif that he sold to a businessman in Ahmedabad when he was just a teenager traveling out of Kachchh for the first time. He showed me the fabric sample and said, “I had made so many blocks myself and stored them all in my work shed in Dhamadka. Then the earthquake came, and the ground shook and the blocks were completely smashed! Not one survived. So I moved to Ajrakhpur and remade them all again!”

Musabhai today is a successful businessman. With his two sons helping him in printing and dyeing, theirs is one of the most visited shop in Ajrakhpur. What we went to document in film was his ‘businessman skills’ and what we received in return was a whole lot more.

“Is she understanding everything I am saying?” he asks pointing towards Sarah who is filming us.
“No Musabhai, I don’t think so. After going home, we both will sit together and translate every word that you said and then she will understand.”

“But my words are ok?”
“Your words are perfect!”

Later on, inside a workshop a few meters ahead, Khalid makes a beautiful hand printed and painted masterpiece, all the while making jokes about why we came to live in Kachchh and work at Khamir and what is our salary! Khalid is one of a kind artist…and person. Truly. Try talking to him and you will see how!
🙂

This short glimpse into the lives of Khatris of Ajrakhpur could well have been made into 5 films if not for Sarah’s super editing skills. So many laughs, discussions, debates, bad sound recordings and mutton meals later, we ended up with this. Those were indeed some special moments and I am glad Sarah could put it all together so nicely, in this film “A New Beginning In Ajrakhpur”.

We are making movies for the exhibition.
Portraits of towns and portraits of it’s people. The idea evolves everyday. Because life writes way better stories than we could ever think about.

Two days ago we started shooting for our film with Musabhai.
Early in the morning we met him in his shop and planned to spend the day with him. Our agenda – dive into the world of Musabhai the Blockprinter, the Businessman. Follow him in his world of numbers, parcels, and customers. Be big-eared for discussions with clients and tea, the camera always ready to capture what we were hoping for.

Soon it was noon. Sarah and I were discussing scenes and conversations to shoot. Just then Musabhai called out to us, “Come, you can film me cooking.”
We looked at each other, confused.

Just in the morning he had told us that he was not printing or dyeing cloth anymore for some years now. Anyway.
“Maybe he is going to cook some natural dyes in a pot, to colour his cloth, so let’s go!”
While we were still looking at each other in confusion, Musabhai had vanished.
We stepped into the courtyard of his house, but there was no one.

After a few seconds came a voice from inside the kitchen, “Come, come. Come inside. I am cooking!”
Both of us were now grinning from ear to ear.

The businessmen behind the burner? A picture we really didn’t expect.
We will let you watch, Masterchef-Musabhai !!!

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Together with Khamir and the blockprinters of Kachchh: Kachchh ji Chhaap, 500 years of blockprint. An exhibit coming up soon on 7th December 2013.

Working with the past, swimming in people’s memories from ‘back then’ and telling tales of a time that is long gone can be a challenging task. These stories take us into a world that is fondly remembered to be a more honest, more simple and a more happy one. And especially to the urban ones like us, the poetry of it all speaks to everything that we wish to be, but are uneasily aware that we are not.

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Together with the Khamir and the artisans of Kachchh, “Kachchh Ji Chhaap : 500 years of blockprinting history” coming soon on 7th December.

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Abdul Rauf and Mansukh, both Khatris, both Blockprinters, but two men who could not be more contradictory.
Rauf, the businessmen. He knows about the value of his craft, he knows how to sell it, how to present it. He knows why it is important to preserve his craft.

And Mansook? He considers himself as a laborer, is working for the same customers since he started, the same pattern, the same cloth. He has never visited other Blockprinters, never came out of Bela and had never met Rauf…Until Now.

“So, what are you doing in Ajrakhpur?” asks Mansukh.

This is the first conversation between two worlds who are rooted in the same thing but couldn´t be more different. Who they are? What is their story?

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Bringing together the Khatri Blockprinters of Kachchh – The Blockprint Collective – coming up soon in December 2013 at Khamir

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