The Cultural Heritage Management and Venture Lab is a project selected by the European Union supported by a grant of 3,98,474 Euros (appx.Rs.3.38 crores) towards “strengthening capacities of cultural actors for the development of a dynamic cultural sector contributing to economic growth and sustainable development.” The project was awarded to the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University along with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, and its global partners Casa de la India, University of Valladolid and City Council of Valladolid aims at developing innovative strategies in heritage management through identifying clusters of heritage and cultural units. It hopes to promote technical support to young people and create awareness among local communities about business initiatives in heritage and culture.
The Cultural Heritage Management and Venture Lab funded by the EU mandates a clustering process, format and strategy of mapping, socio-economic survey and analysis etc. of stakeholders in the heritage ecosystem of Ahmedabad. The process involved:
As the researchers and the EU-project team of Centre for Heritage Management conducted these processes of clustering, a series of validation events were undertaken among stakeholders to understand the depths, achievements and challenges, if any, of the processes. The sectors covered in the validation process were:
Validation exercise for a cluster of Performing Arts of Ahmedabad,
Under the EU project, ‘Cultural Heritage & Management Venture Lab’, Ahmedabad, a consultation and validation process of ongoing diagnostic study on the Performing Arts has organized the Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University in collaboration with Theatre Media Centre, Ahmedabad. The event was hosted at the Theatre Media Centre.
The Performing traditions of Ahmedabad were one of the entities chosen as part of the EU-funded project on Ahmedabad Cultural Heritage and Management Venture Lab for revival. The Bhavai is one among these traditional forms of art which is being actively revived by a few groups in Ahmedabad.
Various stakeholders of the performing arts, experts and artists created a vibrant environment by exchanging their experiences and thought-provoking discussion on the current and future potential of the performing art. Noted Bhavai expert including HasmukhBaradi and Bhavai artist Archan Trivedi, Nisarg Trivedi of Darpana Academy, Chintan Pandya of fanatica Theatre group, Dakxin Bajrange of Budhan theatre group, Janak Rawal and ManvitaBaradi of Theatre Media Centre were present in the discussion.
In the evening a live Performance was offered by the troupe of Archan Trivedi ‘Baardarwaja no vesh’ and ‘Joothan – a 14th-century folk-drama” for the audience. An exhibition of musical instruments, costumes, books and photographs on Bhavai and other traditional performing forms from Gujarat was also organized at the venue.
As a run-up to the Heritage Week of Ahmedabad, a yearly event organized to highlight the glorious heritage of the city, the centre organized a thought sharing session by bringing together activists and scholars to share their experiences and ideas on the revival of the Ashavali tradition. The session was held at the L D Museum on 28 November 2014.
The Centre for Heritage Management of Ahmedabad University has selected the Ashavali tradition as a project to be taken up for revival as part of its Ahmedabad Heritage Venture Lab which is part of its EU project. The Ashavali weaving tradition represents one of Ahmedabad’s major contributions to India’s craft heritage. For generations, an Ashavalisaree was indispensable to traditional weddings and to family use and heirloom collections. In recent years, the craft has been languishing and is now in danger of extinction. The centre has taken the initiative already towards the revival of this art by undertaking a stakeholder mapping of the craft.
The session discussed the details of the tradition and history of Ashavali. Shri Ashoke Chatterjee of Craft Council of India was the moderator of the session which was attended by Shri Radhika Lalbhai, an active Ashavali revivalist, Professor RatanParimoo of LD Museum, Shri Romanie Jaitly of NID, Shri Uma De Jhala, ex NIDian and Shri Krishna Amin-Patel with affiliation to NID and designer Shyamal Sodhan of the Shaymal-Bhumika group.
Currently, the Ashavali tradition is marred by lack of skilled labour as well as diversification of product range. Likewise, shortage and high cost of raw materials are also ailing the art. Those experienced in the trade indicate that within today’s market there is a growing demand for high quality in the high-end market, even as the use of traditional gold and silver has become difficult. The activists and experts brainstormed on various ways to revive the art and also strategized towards making the Ahmedabad Heritage Venture Lab of Ahmedabad University act as a catalyst towards its revival.
The day-long “Consultations and Validation exercise of Diagnostic Studies on the Heritage sub-clusters of Tourism, Media and Kite Making with Concerned Stakeholders and Project Partners” took place at Ahmedabad University Conference Hall.
Beginning with the sharing of vital information on the project to its stakeholders and potential partners, the event saw presentations by the project team members and the survey and focus group researchers on the sub-clusters for which they had undertaken diagnostic studies.
The first presentation on the Tourism sub-cluster highlighted the cardinal role of prominent stakeholders of tourism in promoting cultural heritage. The potential and strong relationship between different partners of the tourism was highlighted and locus of cultural heritage based investments in the tourism sector was identified.
The second presentation of the day was on different types of media, their possible links for nurturing cultural heritage based endeavours and prominent persons from the media sector participated in the discussion.
The third diagnostic study of the kite making sector was presented with a focus on different stakeholders of kite making sector. The production process and economic aspects, as well as promotion strategies, were discussed to expand the existing market of kites. Pappu Ansari, one of the kite makers present in the meeting, suggested forming a kite makers’ association to enhance the communication between different stakeholders of the sector.
The validation session was also attended by the consultant, FMC, New Delhi Sangeeta Agasty and also by the CEO and director of Centre for Heritage Management. Speaking on the occasion, C K Koshy, the chief executive of CHM underlined the potential and importance of making cultural heritage linked businesses self-sustaining and the importance of the unique clustering process we have begun through this project. He hoped that the diagnostic studies would lead to creating workable action plans for each sub-cluster.