Thatta Kedona

Culture is a Basic Need

Youth style

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The youth style was a European way of living, around the year 1900, and represented a revolt against the industrially produced goods. The speciality of era was the cooperation between artists and craftsmen and the usage of selected materials and techniques as well as integration of non-European motives and cultures specially popular were those from the sub-continent.

An interesting example from the present time is the art of block printing in Lahore and elsewhere in Pakistan. On the occasion of the first handicrafts exhibition in the year 1890 in British-India, Kipling, the museum director of that time and father of the writer Rudyard sat together with a craftsman and used motives from the Moghul period, and walls of the pavilions in Shalimar Gardens were selected.

The English variant of the youth style was the so called modern style, in France the Art Nouveau, and in Austria Sezessionsstil.

A famous name in youth style was of the Vienna designer Carl Otto Czechka, whose 100th birthday was celebrated in July 2010. His work was meticulously followed by another Vienna resident Dr Senta Siller, also a designer, however with a twist directed towards income generating measures based upon traditional culture in rural areas. The youth style movement developed itself soon into art of minorities because it was not based upon mass production and the products, all individual pieces, had their price.

The problem of that time has become more severe as the price is still considered the main purchasing argument. Beauty and the specialness are lost and with it the traditional affect.

Dr. Siller has been working on this problem since many years. She strives to maintain handicraft techniques and traditional motives and forms. With the help of other volunteers, she tries to generate lasting income for the participants while maintaining good quality and limited production. Not only through training and production in projects in Pakistan, Cameroun. Columbia, but also through bazaars in ethnological museums.

This is how Pakistani Chaddars made in the workshop of Mr Aslam in Lahore and dolls from the village Thatta Ghulamka Dhiroka (Thatta Kedona) make an impact upon the conscience and give hope for renewed interest of quality conscious customers.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:03 PM,


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