“Craft Forward: Perspectives on Crafts and Artisan Communities in Myanmar and Southeast Asia” took place on 15 and 16 January 2016 in Yangon at the Strand Hotel Ballroom. This two day conference was organised by the British Council (Myanmar), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and New Zero Art Space. It represented a milestone for ‘From Craft to Art’ project which has been running for the last two years.
The conference gathered a variety of people including designers, educators, artisans, social entrepreneurs, craft organisations, policy makers, cultural experts, and government representatives and aimed to:
- Share information on different craft regeneration practices in Myanmar and the Southeast Asia region.
- Highlight areas of challenges and opportunities for crafts practitioners and businesses.
- Introduce good practices and new market models to consider in the crafts sector.
- Address questions linked to the challenges faced by makers and look at the relationship between East-West, North-South and also makers & designers in the context of crafts.
Spread over two days, the conference sought to open up multiple perspectives through the following topics: "Challenges and Opportunities for Crafts and Traditional Cultures in the Global Age" and "Good Practices and New Market for Crafts in the Region". Local and international experts shared their knowledge and experience related to crafts, culture, social development and environmental sustainability.