DHS Conference Towards Global Histories of Design

I will be speaking about postcolonial textiles, including the Dutch company Vlisco (pictured), at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India (September 6-8, 2013).

Postcolonial ideas about belonging to multiple cultures, which in reality result in a sense of connection to everywhere and nowhere simultaneously, are pertinent to society today more than ever. So too are the multiple, often underestimated, histories behind the objects that make up our material world. This paper focuses on the textile – the most portable of our craft traditions – and includes a range of recent work which addresses postcolonial themes from sub-Saharan Africa: El Anatsui, Liza Lou, Dan Halter, Walter Oltmann, Nicholas Hlobo, Vlisco, Victoria Bell, Mr Somebody and Mr Nobody (Heidi Chisholm and Sharon Lombard).

image: courtesy of Vlisco