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Africa’s Basket Weavers Telling Stories Through Basketry

Basketry is a skill that has been practiced up and down the continent for centuries with examples from the past coveted by collectors around the world. Today Africa’s basket weavers are redefining the art form employing ingenious methods to create modern functional home decor products. But whilst these baskets may appear to be merely functional or decorative products, taking the time to look beyond the aesthetics reveals the layers of stories woven into the strands; as basketry -a skill traditionally practiced by women- carries within it the stories of livelihoods, of hopes, dreams, achievements, and sacrifices. Highlighting just how powerfully […]

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Africa.Now – Exploring Africa’s Creative Community With Design Indaba

Having spent the last seven years bringing you some of the names, designs, and services that have shaped the emergence and development of the creative industries across Africa one cannot help but be inspired by the energy surrounding what is happening; that feeling that anything is possible. Something that can at times be hard to articulate in a post when experiencing it in person can be so much more impactful. And this is the premise of Design Indaba’s Africa.Now initiative and video series, which brings you closer to the action through on-screen interviews with those who are an active part […]

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Fashion: Mille Collines Blending Trend and Tradition

Mille Collines [Rwanda]     [Image credits: Mille Collines] An eclectic design style seeking to blend trend and tradition to create timeless creations defines Kigali based fashion label, Mille Collines. Mille Collines was launched when Spanish designers Marc and Inés left Barcelona, Spain for Kigali, Rwanda in 2006. Valuing heritage, workmanship and ethics in the fast pace of the ever-changing fashion world, the pair were drawn to the diversity and rich handicraft traditions of Rwanda and sought to bring together local tailors and artisans to develop a brand that reflected the vision.  Production focuses on high quality craftsmanship through handmade finishings […]

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Design: Gahaya Links Baskets Celebrating Peace

Gahaya Links [Rwanda] [Image credits: top, Fairwinds Trading; bottom, Gahaya Links] Following on from my previous posting about the Zimbabwean Basket Weavers, I have become increasingly fascinated by the defining characteristics and regional differences in patterns, forms and traditional uses and thought it would be nice to dedicate a separate posting for each of the various country styles I come across. In Rwanda the traditional art of basketry has been used as a vehicle to build hope, bringing together communities once divided by the Genocide of 1994. Recognising the potential towards fostering healing, Rwandan sisters, Joy Ndungutse and Janet Nkubana founded Gahaya Links, a […]

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