Stitched Encounters: An Exploration of the Afghan-European Embroidery Initiative Guldusi by Katja May
In Issue 19 (2018) of Quilt Studies, The Journal of the British Quilt Study Group (ed. by Barbara Hately), Katja May presents the embroidery programme Guldusi.
“This paper takes a detailed look at the Afghan-European hand embroidery initiative Guldusi. I examine the initiative as a form of cross-cultural collaborative needlework project that may provide a space for shared cultural encounter between Afghans and Europeans. I explore how both the Afghan and European women’s textile artefacts are embedded in discourses of creative agency, empowerment and cultural exchange. As such, I will highlight the need for critical awareness and debate around the reception and evaluation of cross-cultural needlework projects. However, this does not imply the categorization of crosscultural needlework projects into any kind of binary division such as good and bad or subversive and traditional. Instead, I follow David Gauntlett in suggesting that making always resembles an act of connecting and as such is inherently political. As a result, similarities as well as differences between the Afghan and European needlewomen become exposed within a shared politics of crafting. […]”
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