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Celebrating print makers and print making traditions of Kachchh, we invited children to create their own little masterpieces exploring print making techniques like Mono-printing, Dry Point Intaglio and Collography.
Why am I not surprised at the result! These are some of the prints made by these little creative geniuses!

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Imagine a classroom where you learn math with an artisan, discussing his profits and productions, a science class at a dyeing workshop to make your own clothes, and a Hindi Class where you learn to interview people from diverse backgrounds about their life and work! Imagine a classroom where your regular subjects come to life and learning is by making, observing and interacting with everyday life and surroundings! That is exactly what we did for the students of Sinchan school, who gladly left their textbooks behind and spent a whole week at Khamir. We took textbook lessons and made them relevant to Kachchh, to craft and to its people.
Sinchan is an alternative school in Bhuj, whose philosophy is learning by ‘the-play-way’ method. For the past 7 years they have been experimenting new ways to teach and learn. Our philosophies matched and Khamir turned into a school for a week! The collography classes were a part of the Khamir School Curriculum 🙂

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We even made it to the local newspaper! Sorry it is in Gujarati!
kutchi

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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”.

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Bringing together the Block printers and dyers of Kachchh and Khamir, our exhibition ‘Kachchh Ji Chhaap’ is now open!

The exhibition is an attempt to tell the story of prints and print making as it unfolded from the time it was practiced on the banks of the Indus to its many facets today. Kachchh Ji Chhaap is an intricate tale of the craftsmen, bringing together narratives of their lives, their milestones and their challenges.

The Exhibition will be held at the Khamir Campus from 7th December 2013 to 28th February 2014.

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