Accepted Paper:

Conversing through textiles: mediation across producing and consuming ends of Balinese songket  

Author:

Ayami Nakatani (Okayama University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper deals with the ways in which particular types of Indonesian traditional textiles are produced and marketed within the changing frameworks of post-colonial project of national integration on the one hand, and national as well as regional discourses of cultural heritage.

Paper long abstract:

In this globalised world, it is truism that all types of products are marketed and consumed across borders. The relationship between particular consumers and producers is thus spatially distant, temporary and brought together "in such a way as to conceal almost perfectly any trace of origin, of the labour processes that produced them" (Harvey 1990).

However, the relationships between producers and consumers are not simply separated and opposed to each other, especially in the case of handicrafts. Those who buy hand-made textiles produced in far-away places, for example, often desire to gain knowledge about the detailed context in which they were produced. More recently, a contemporary discourse of cultural heritage seems to function as a powerful tool to draw the producing and consuming ends closer to each other.

This paper deals with the ways in which particular types of Indonesian traditional textiles are produced and marketed within the changing frameworks of post-colonial project of national integration which strengthened regional identity on the one hand, and national as well as regional discourses of cultural heritage which provided renewed context for "fashionalization" of hand-woven materials. It pays a particular attention to the roles of mediators, such as fashion experts and non-profit organizations, who have tried to intervene with the design and marketing of textiles; their active engagement can partly be attributed to the political and economic climate of the time, but their diverging interests also reflect the contested meaning of cultural heritage.

Panel WIM-CHAT05
Fashionable tradition: innovation and continuity in the production and consumption of handmade textiles and crafts