A documentary on how western influence is changing Bhutan's cultural identity through fashion. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on March 18, 2012.
About this project
Bhutan has a rich history of textile traditions and techniques, most of which have stayed intact due to the isolation of the country. Bhutan opened its doors to the world in the 1960s and is still very much an infant in the global scene. When Bhutan emerged from isolation, they put a mandatory dress code in effect, with the intention of creating a way to retain a strong sense of culture amongst the people of the nation. We are looking to explore the increasing influence of Western culture on Bhutan's textile and apparel industry. Older generations fear that by opening their country to the world, they are in danger of losing their long-held cultural traditions. The youth, on the other hand, seem to have a fascination with the Western world. Our cultures, values, beliefs... and especially our fashion. We are interested in understanding the changing attitudes of the people (both young and old) in regards to Bhutanese traditional dress and the increasing demand for modern fashion.
In addition to that, we have made contacts with, and have plans to interview key people in the textile industry, including the owner of one of the most famous weaving centers in the nation, a rare male master weaver, and a woman who sources silk for the Bhutanese Royal Family.
We are SO excited and we hope you will be too!
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT TO US:
We think Bhutan is fascinating! and while this country is mostly known by its given catchphrase "The Last Shangri-la" (paradise), the country is really not widely known for anything else. This documentary is meant to bridge the gap between how the country has managed to preserve its traditions and the impact that opening themselves up to the modern world is affecting their culture. This begins and ends with textiles and the fashion world.
There's another reason Bhutan holds such a significant meaning to this project... Julia is part Bhutanese. One-quarter, to be exact. Her grandmother, Mary Tshering Drukpa was a Bhutanese refugee to India. She died of double-pneumonia at the age of 29, leaving her daughter (9) and son (6) to learn to raise themselves. That 6 year old boy was Julia's father. He has dedicated his life to giving back in the same way that a chance was once given to him. After receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he, his wife and his three children Julia, Jonathan, and Jessica moved back to India, the land that, decades before, provided a place of refuge for his mother.
While India is the place that Mary Tshering Drukpa died, Bhutan was the place she called home. Julia's family line runs deep in Bhutan. She has aunts, uncles and cousins whose names she doesn't even know. She is looking to reconnect with family roots through the best way she knows how: textiles and apparel.
This project will be an attempt to bring a family together, as well as bring awareness to one of the most culturally preserved cultures in the world from a new point of view... fashion.
Our $32,000 goal is really the bare minimum we need to make this documentary happen. What we're asking allows us to take a tiny crew (as in... 2 people small) to Bhutan for 1 month of filming.
Ideally, we'd love to take a big crew and amazing equipment to Bhutan, but that would require well over double our goal.
The cost is equally split between travelling and equipment costs. Because Bhutan is so difficult to get to and isolated, once we're there, we have to be 150% prepared. This means if we need to replace equipment, there's no running to the local electronics shop... there isn't one! It's quite literally all or nothing in this regard.
IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL:
We only keep the amount pledged if we meet our entire goal. So if we only raise $31,999 the entire project gets scrapped. It's rough, but that's the way it is. Your contribution matters! We'd like to thank Kickstarter for providing us the chance to realize this project, and we'd like to thank YOU for taking the time to read this far :)
This documentary features the beautiful textiles of Bhutan and we wanted our rewards to reflect that.
ABOVE: traditional Bhutanese textile covered journal with handmade paper, and 2 different styles of wallets in various different colors and woven patterns.
BELOW: a pair of traditional Bhutanese ceremonial Tsholham (boots)
Right now we've got a facebook page and we're constantly updating! Come take a look! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Threads-traditional-textiles-in-a-modern-kingdom/314616341907070 We've got photos of the cast and crew, as well as some behind the scene shenanigans.
We'll be starting an official blog soon!
- (50 days)