International Natural Dye Symposium
by Taniya Vaidya, India
The International Natural Dye Symposium, held 6-12 November 2006 at Hyderabad, India and organized by UNESCO and the Crafts Council of India, was attended by about 400 participants representing over 60 countries. It was an exhilarating experience to participate in the Symposium and interact with natural dye experts from all over the world. It was also encouraging to meet people who believe in natural dye, as it has been a lonely journey for many of us until now. This event opened up new horizons for us all.
There were presentations by natural dye researchers and practitioners from various fieldstextile designers, artists, scientists, technologists, anthropologists, and traditional craftspersons. Separate demonstration workshops led by people from all over the world offered hands-on experience. The beauty of the Symposium was to see the ways in which people from different geographical locations have adapted various methods and locally available materials. There was a wide range of presenters from various countries with each presentation providing new insights into the field of natural dye.
There were also poster presentations that could be divided into three basic catagories: (a) design and artisan; (b) scientific; (c) socio-economic. Many readers of the Turkey Red Journal participated in the symposium, which was coordinated by Ms. Dominique Cardon (France). Design presenters included Dr. Kazuki Yamazaki (Japan), Mr. Edric Ong (Malasiya), Ms. Nurzah Bilgrami (Pakistan), Ms. Shalini Sahoo (India) and Ms. Ruby Ghuznavi (Bangladesh). These designers dealt with issues related to culture and traditions that they are trying to revive. Scientific aspects were covered by Prof. Philip John (U. K.), Dr. K. Perumal (India), Dr. Lamya Hasan (Kuwait), Dr. Padma Vankar (India), and Ms. Rakhee Shankar (India). These presentations focused on various uses of technology to obtain optimum strength of natural dyes and new sources of dyes. Social aspects were described by Hisako Sumi (Japan), Dr. Bettina Zorn (Germany), Dr. Jui-tsung Lee (China), Ms. Rashmi Bharati (India), and Cheryl Kolander (USA). These presenters, who came from different backgrounds such as social work, anthropology, and landscape architecture, advocated multi-disciplinary approaches for further research.
I thank the Red Turkey Journal for giving me information about the symposium well in advance so that I could participate and present a poster.
Photograph Copyright by Taniya Vaidya