Reimagining Cloth in Contemporary Culture

2024-04-25 15:42:16

Jaya Bhatt, Ruchi Tripathi, Shabnam Ramaswamy, Vaishnavi Kambadur

Reimagining Cloth in Contemporary Culture


June 4, 2021    
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This discussion will examine themes like togetherness in making kantha and how urban and rural practitioners or designers are reinventing textile practices in our daily lives by empowering women and adopting slow fashion production. It features founders of the clothing brand Indigene, Ruchi Tripathi and Jaya Bhatt as well as social activist Shabnam Ramaswamy in conversation with Vaishnavi Kambadur, assistant curator at MAP.

Curated as part of the programming around the online exhibition Painted Stitches, Woven Stories.

Jaya Bhatt

Designer, Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Indigene

Jaya Bhatt is the co-founder of label Indigene, a conscious clothing label based out of Delhi. An alumnus of The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT, Delhi), her experience at Sadhna, a women’s livelihood programme in Udaipur that worked with 500 women artisans at that time, helped her develop a strong understanding of their craft as well as the region.  

In 2010, Bhatt co-founded Indigene along with Ruchi Tripathi, driven by a passion for traditional textiles and handcrafted techniques. She has also worked on several independent projects, with other organisations, institutes and craft producers. 

Ruchi Tripathi

Designation: Designer, Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Indigene

Ruchi Tripathi is the co-founder of label Indigene, a conscious clothing label based out of Delhi. A post graduate in textile design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, she developed a keen interest in handmade textiles in college.Before setting up Indigene with Jaya Bhatt, Tripathi worked with craft based organisations like Urmul and Rangsutra that had their work spread across Western Rajasthan, Assam and Varanasi. Working with Fabindia and other independent projects gave her insights into aspects of production and marketing along with design.

Over the years, travelling to different craft clusters and working directly with artisans, engrained the idea of setting up an independent label. 

Shabnam Ramaswamy

Designation: Co-Founder of Street Survivors, India

Shabnam Ramaswamy founded Street Survivors India, New Delhi in 1990. She has worked towards building a grassroot level institution for working children and helped build an integrated development project package offering shelter, nutrition and health care, education, counselling and protection services at the Motia Khan Slum community in central Delhi, as well as the New Delhi Railway Station. 

Ramaswamy also launched the Jagriti Public School, a school in Katna in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district in 2005, which provides education and nutrition to around 650 students from neighbouring villages. She has also organised many workshops with street and working children to develop the creative use of theatre in education. In addition, she is currently president of Stree Shakti Project, a forum for popular justice and free legal aid.

Vaishnavi Kambadur (Moderator)

Assistant Curator, MAP, Bangalore

Vaishnavi Kambadur is an assistant curator at the Museum of Art & Photography, Bengaluru. Her research investigates the practice of making cloth and addresses its challenges in the context of labour, culture and fashion theory. She has over 8 years of experience from working with research archives, retail web stores, garment factories to designing textiles. Her most recent virtual exhibition on hair practices in India was published in VMIS (Virtual Museum of Images and Sounds). 

Previously, Kambadur held internships at Christie’s and Textile Arts Center, New York, and assisted in teaching courses like history of fashion and fashioning micro-utopias. She holds a MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design, New York and a Bachelor’s degree in Knitwear Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. 

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