International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Roundtable Endangered Textile Design: Will We Make Room For It To Survive? Leiden, July 18, 2019

For the participants:

What indigenous weavers need to be able to perpetuate their unique, cultural designs in their communities has rarely been studied.  The topic has become urgent because indigenous weaving traditions are in sharp decline. The meeting of textile experts at the ICAS congress is an ideal moment to discuss this matter of urgency. 

During this Roundtable on Endangered Textile Design we will explore how indigenous textile design emerges and some threats to that process. The topic has been selected on the understanding that the loss of indigenous design is not inevitable, but the result of identifiable social forces, hence the possibility of remedial strategies.

Indigenous weavers currently suffer from the loss of social and economic room to continue to grow their design traditions. Appropriation, enclosures and ‘design assistance’ from exogenous worlds need to be evaluated for their effect on the latitude that indigenous weavers need to grow their traditions. 

The Roundtable is set up as an open forum to discuss concerns and elicit additional information. Will a consensus of concern emerge? What should be done? Can a basis for policy recommendations be established?

Participation in the Roundtable 

Co-convenors, Dr. Sandra Niessen and Dr. Geneviève Duggan each share their concerns in the discussion papers below on design issues in Batak and Savu respectively. All of the participants in the ICAS textile seminars are due to receive these documents. Access to the documents is not restricted. 

All participants in the ICAS textile seminars are invited to attend the Roundtable.  Attendance is not restricted.

All are invited to read the attached documents before the Roundtable begins and contribute to the discussion.

Call for Submissions

All are also invited to make a written submission in advance of the Roundtable to add to the body of case material. The convenors will select responses to highlight during the Roundtable. Please send your submission to:

Roundtable Agenda:

1. The convenors briefly present their case studies/discussions papers

2. Selected participants respond and/or present their own case studies

3. Open discussion 

4. Planning for remedial action 

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