In 2002 the Maiwa Foundation, in conjunction with the Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS) co-operative, Maiwa Handprints Ltd., The Vancouver Museum and other funders mounted an exhibition of embroidery from tribal groups living in the Kutch Desert. After completing it's run in Canadian venues the show will travel internationally.
Self-sufficiency for village artisans is largely dependent on a recognition of value by western markets. Simply stated, handmade craft, which builds on traditional skills and displays high quality workmanship cannot be easily copied by either industrial means or unskilled labour. Moreover, the market is willing to pay a premium for an absence of synthetic content (in craft this usually means the exclusive use of natural dyes and natural fibers produced and used in environmentally sound ways). Works of this type are generally produced in a rural domestic setting, empowering female artisans who need not absent themselves from village life to become wage earners. The end goal of such trade is that artisans come to a full realization of the value of their work. A knowledge of fair market value (in a global sense) protects artisans from predatory buyers and elevates their status within the family and the community.
This exhibition is supported by a 30 minute documentary and a 96 page, full colour book.