During the week from 04-08 September 2013 three extraordinary exhibitions opened in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) – in Sarajevo, Trebinje and Široki Brijeg.
The works presented at the exhibitions are the result of cooperation of the students from the Arts Academies in those three cities with the traditional crafts workshops, all under the project “Valorisation of the traditional crafts in BiH”, implemented by Oxfam in BiH, under the SeeNet programme.
Over the period of almost a year students of three Academies have been cooperating with the traditional craftsmen working as twisters, brush makers, cobblers and silversmiths. During this cooperation a pilot assortment of products have been created, which present the blend of tradition and modern creativity.
The aim of this project is to valorise the traditional craftsmanship, giving craftsmanship products new market value through modernization of product design, making crafts sustainable activity, attractive to young people.
The basis for this pilot project is a blend of tradition and innovation, and intergenerational cooperation through the exchange of ideas, skills and creativity between crafts masters and young students of arts Academies in three cities, as well as support to development of traditional crafts workshops, with the improvement of their business and market potentials.
Result of this cooperation is experimental production of the pilot assortment, with the tradition in its base, while student’s creativity presents the upgrade through modernisation, with the emphasis on the functionality and usage of these products in everyday life.
Pilot products will find their place in the House of Crafts in Sarajevo and in the Museum/Interpretational centre – MuM in Mostar, as well as in in the shop of typical eno-gastronomical produce “Okusi Hercegovinu” in Mostar and other commercial venues interested in sales of such products, aiming to test the market value and sustainability o pilot products.
“Valorisation of the traditional crafts” is part of the wider SeeNet programme, under which Oxfam implements project “Development of cultural tourism in Mostar, Sarajevo and Skopje”, within which the establishment of “House of Crafts” in Sarajevo and Museum/Interpretational centre – MuM in Mostar are also supported.
Traditional crafts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, same as worlwide today, have difficulties maintaining their position in the cultural herritage,a s well as on the market. Many factors cause the crisis in the sector. One of the assumptions is lack of adjustability with the needs of the sector and the tastes of the modern market. The synergy of tradition and innovation, experienced craftsmen and young designers, presents the potential transition of traditional crafts into modern and mode to preserve intangible cultural heritage.