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
We are SO excited and we hope you will
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.
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.
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 :)
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)