This is how you grow a culture by hand


This is how you grow a culture by hand

Handmade Contemporary Fair isn’t just embracing African styles, it’s reimagining familiar cultural items

Pearl Boshomane Tsotetsi

In SA, culture is a loaded word. It can be used to vilify something, or to celebrate it; to explain, or to excuse. To some, culture represents stagnation, lack of movement, the old-fashioned. To others, it is movement.

And while rituals and significant life events (such as weddings or funerals) help keep our diverse cultural practices and objects somewhat alive in ever-changing societies, another way the aesthetics of our lineage lives on is through consumerism.

For the past decade, African prints and styles have been in vogue in the fashion world, whether it’s through African brands such as Khosi Nkosi or Mantsho (who recently collaborated with H&M on a limited-edition clothing line), “glocal” labels such as the Ethiopian-American Lemlem (started by supermodel Liya Kebede) or Brother Vellies (US entrepreneur Aurora James working with artisans from across the continent), or through international fashion houses such as Stella McCartney or Louis Vuitton, who have been accused of cultural appropriation...

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