Aziz and Suleman Khatri are a terrific team. They are artists and brothers in the business of Bandhani, a craft that has remained in their family for nearly seven generations.
They live in a town called Badli in the district Nakatrana of Kutch.
“We need to give bandhani a modern look. People already own the old bandhani designs, they are sitting in their cupboards, so we need to do something different.” says Suleman.
The brothers have a zest for experimentation. Both graduates from the artisan design school in Kutch called Kalaraksha Vidyalaya, they have together set new standards in design and expression of this traditional art.
The family has also developed new ideas and color schemes for their products by working with designers from other Indian cities. While Aziz is the brain between the development of new concepts, designs and colours, Suleman handles product development and marketing.
“Artisans need help understanding their consumers, markets, colors, designs, and materials that sell,” says Aziz, “That is what the government and the NGOs can do. Many artisans do not know what sells and are not aware of market trends, so once they have this understanding, they can advance their craft.”
From September 2012 to February 2013, a team of us have been travelling around Kachchh searching for stories of Bandhani artisans. We spoke to a small handful in each region to get a glimpse into their lives and histories. We found stories of hope, risk, creativity, determination and passion.
Voices of the community is a collection of all these creative people across Kachchh and what they have to say. Visit Bandhani : Ties, Dyes and Bumpy Rides for more.