Textile Experimentation Workshop 1: San Cristobal de las Casas (in collaboration with Impacto Textil)
At IndieGen, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time making sense of the concept of a social enterprise, which is defined as “an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being.” In essence, a social enterprise is a business that works to increase social impact alongside profits for its external shareholders, it’s a two way street, a mutual cause, and just collaboration.
Although our mission continues to evolve as we deepen our relationships with artisan women around Mexico, the first phase of our efforts has unravelled as a series of workshops meant to inspire creativity and empower our collaborating artisans to value themselves and their work as art. Through our workshops, we immerse ourselves into our partner communities, build trust, confidence, and close relationships, sharing love and lessons that we hope will spread throughout the entire artistic ecosystem.
For our latest workshop, we journeyed to San Cristobal de las Casas, a “Magic Town” nestled in a small valley surrounded by pine forest and mountains of the Mexican state of Chiapas. San Cristobal is known for its red tile roofs, cobblestone streets, flower-filled balconies, and the sweet smell of cacao. Its heart and soul is deeply rooted in indigenous cultures and customs, which pulsate throughout the city in the form of food, art, and some of the most impressive textiles in the world. Here are the women that make them:
Day 1: Started off the morning with some breathing and ice-breakers. Creativity is best achieved in an environment of love and acceptance, so we take this time to knock down any walls, get to know one another and laugh a little. We’re all students and teachers here.
Next, we introduced the collage, a work of art made by attaching pieces of different materials, in this case, magazines cutouts. These women work FAST.
On day 2, the artisans created a second collage out of textured materials including paint, beads, and thread, inspired by one image of their choice. We encouraged them to explore the subtle and overt details of their images, creating connections and interpretations both literal and abstract.
Day 3: The collage comes to life in the form of a textile, each beautifully thoughtful and unique, using new shapes, colors, and materials to reflect each artisans individual source of love and perspective.