International Village Shop Internationaler Dorfladen Internationale Dorpswinkel Tienda de Pueblo Internacional

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The International Village Shop is a growing trans-local network of cultural producers who set up trading places for goods with strong local connections.

West Bengal One Hour Shops - India






In 20010 the Kolkata based NGO Banglanatak asked public works to build cultural/resource centers in the districts of Purulia, Nadia and West Medinipour. The new buildings should become hubs for local art forms like Chau dance, Baul-Fakiri music and Patachitra/scroll painting.

During the first visits Torange Khonsari from public works made maps of the most visible and popular local crafts and cottage industries of each district. The concept for the centres-to-be-build was to use these crafts collaboratively in the production of the buildings. However due to time constraints this was not possible and we planned to take this approach in the second phase of the project which is concentrated on the fitting out of the interior and day to day functioning/use of the building as agreed by the centre’s local management team.

The One Hour Shops in the villages of Gorbhanga in District Nadia, and Naya in West Medinipur, were meant as introductions of the International Village Shop, and an example for how new products might be develped and local goods could enter the network.

The architectural project was designed so all materials and labour sourced were local. The building work had an element of training and skilling of the locals, particularly in the areas of brick laying and carpentry. The buildings were all designed to have an open semi public space that will function as hubs for the local community. Rooms and sanitary services for visiting guests, artists and collaborators have also been incorporated in the design. In Nadia and West Medinipour a strong wish for public displays of their respective art forms in the Resource centers, both in terms of performance and exhibitions, means that such displays are clearly visible as one enters the building. The buildings have significantly contributed to one of the main project objectives, which is to raise the artists social status across local and neighboring communities. This outcome also meets with Banglanatak’s central efforts, which are to raise earnings and allow artists to generate sustainable livelihood from their respective art forms.

To continue the appropriation and fitting of those new centres, it is plannned to develop new objects based on and developed from local knowledge and crafts, and to use them for the fitting of the centres. Long term this new product range can become the base for local collective social enterprises with skills and crafts which would otherwise be disappearing.

West Bengal One Hour Shops, West Bengal, India

West Bengal

22.9867569 , 87.8549755
Mar 2011 One Hour Shop in Gorbhanga Mar 2011 One Hour Shop in Naya

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