Sharjah / WAM
With 11 design-led cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary crafts collaborations, 14 new collection launches and 10 programmes initiated during 2021, UAE-based Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, an affiliate of Nama Women Advancement, has made a powerful statement on national and international platforms with its exceptional creative work, and unearthed new opportunities for Emirati craftswomen to develop and preserve local crafts in a sustainable and economically viable manner.
The Emirati artisans’ works have been made accessible to an audience of more than 15,000 individuals and crafts enthusiasts who participated in Irthi’s local and internationally organised events during 2021.
Irthi continues to provide a fresh narrative for women and empowers its artisans to tap into contemporary global markets.
Irthi’s ongoing efforts in revitalising crafts and take the indigenous handmaking heritage of the Menasea and Central Asia regions into the future has paved the way for the creation of an innovation ecosystem where the infusion of a modern spirit and design interventions are expanding the traditional crafts vocabulary. Through social development programmes, vocational training, and collaborations with designers from different cultures and artistic backgrounds, Irthi continues to provide a fresh narrative for women and empowers its artisans to tap into contemporary global markets.
Reem BinKaram, Director of Nama, said, “Under the guidance and vision of HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of HH the Ruler of Sharjah, and chairperson of Nama, Irthi has stepped up efforts in bringing Emirati crafts to the world stage to help preserve and protect our heritage crafts for future generations. The artistic and design-led collaborative explorations led by Irthi have seen the introduction of novel materials and techniques that are today enriching the artisanal heritage of Sharjah and the UAE and taking the exceptional craft traditions of Emirati artisans in exciting new directions.”