Research for Endangered Traditional Handicrafts in Post-Conflict States (Sri Lanka) (FY 2013 – FY 2015)

In the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, which have been the most affected by the civil war until 2009, the alleviation of poverty and the establishment of sustainable livelihoods are particularly urgent matters. As part of those efforts, IRCI decided to focus on the importance of reviving ICH such as traditional textiles and women’s handicrafts that have been passed down to surviving women as a potential way to reconstruct their livelihoods, thus contributing to sustainable peace building. The project was implemented in cooperation with the Government of Sri Lanka with the purpose of reviving these handicrafts. Through the project from FY 2013 to FY 2015, workshops and field surveys were conducted in 10 areas and IRCI held numerous dialogues with representatives of the craftswomen and the government officials of Sri Lanka. Also, recommendations for craft revitalisation were made. Furthermore, over a two-year period, IRCI invited practitioners, government officials, and researchers to Japan for intensive discussion sessions on the recommendations. IRCI played a role in providing those stakeholders with common understanding and recognition about further challenges and the key issues for reviving these handicrafts. Sustainable transmission of traditional culture by local people plays a major role in the process of building stability and peace for all countries that have experienced conflict and war. IRCI hopes to use its case study of this project and its practical research on restoration and revitalisation in other countries.

Related News
  • Meeting on further cooperation and sharing the final report with Hon. Minister Douglas Devananda, Ministry of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development (Colombo, Sri Lanka, September 2014)

  • Meeting at National Crafts Council in Colombo (Sri Lanka, September 2014)

  • Practitioners presenting on revitalisation of craft techniques at the discussion meeting (Toyama City, Japan, December 2015)

  • Artisan from Eastern Province of Sri Lanka participating in the intensive working session (Tokyo, Japan, March 2015)