Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Knowledge and wisdoms are intangible as they flow down through countless generations and their work based creation and folk – all finally functions of a place – an ethos that grows of the soil, from the people, under the sun. This is something that we call ‘creative economy’. Creative economy is more powerful an expression when it comes to Varanasi – which is one of world’s oldest, livable and sustainable habitat and all of that are glimpsed through various expressions, like — literature, arts, crafts, drama, music, painting, river-based ritual crafts and arts and many others bordering the subtle. Thus to ascertaining various forms of indigenous knowledge and wisdom, it is imperative to study and investigate our great traditional expressions that we inherit from Varanasi.
Since each expression of creative economy is a function of ‘place-folk-place’ over the long history, which is marked by formation, continuity and change, and often it has acquired status of Shastra or discipline, there is a need to study and recover all of them through a number of research and academic rigor, which is emotionally and technically equipped to recover their essences, their production technology, their human skills and tacit pedagogy, and most important of all, their informal production communes and ecological inter-linkages that interface with philosophy, religion, ethnography and culture.
Through Varanasi, ‘SANDHI’ therefore offers an exquisite approach to recover its ‘shilpa’ hidden in its embedded layers of traditional knowledge and knowledge-practice systems, which often are not formal and technical, deeply ecological and natural and vocational. SANDHI is therefore making an effort to deconstruct and re-position the creative economic products churned out of the heritage of Varanasi’s literature; her arts and crafts,; her legacy of ancient folk drama, music and painting; and most important of all, her river-based rituals shaping a deeper order of crafts and arts and many others bordering the subtle and the intangible and the timeless!