We’re really thrilled to publish this chill-inducing post by our friend and supporter, Emily Getty . As a seasoned international development professional who has visited Chiapas and lived in Mexico, as well as many other places in the world where artisans toil to survive, she has a meaningful insight into their plight.
The Plight of the Artisan
By Emily Getty
I see it in their weary faces, their callused hands and tired feet. I see the glassy eyes, behind them wrinkled thoughts. Their work is colorful, vibrant, and beautiful. Their lives are lived in poverty, without access, without. This is the plight of artisans. They do what they know. They make beautiful things in dire circumstances. Their deepest imaginings come to life on their chosen canvas be it teak wood, wool, linen, cotton or dried reeds. They make tradition dance before us in colorful scarves, woven baskets and engraved boxes. They string orange, blue, white and red beads into an intricate pattern that to them tells a history of love, loss and survival. They work endlessly to preserve their mind’s creations in forms that speak to others in a way that moves them. This is the plight of artisans.
Artisans are everywhere. They are trapped in situations that force them to hang up their passions and work to survive. They are trapped into making the mundane graphic t-shirts with stupid phrases because they sell. Their creativity is trapped. Many are too far away to make a living from their art and are forced to choose a life less beautiful to provide for their families. Chiapas Bazaar is giving back the power to the artisan and in doing so bringing back the beautiful diversity of artistic goods in Mexico. Here is to the hope of the artisans trapped in the cocoons of survival. May you emerge as exquisite butterflies painting the skies with a brighter future.