Women to display creativity at heritage crafts showcase
Bangladesh Heritage Crafts Foundation has announced our first Heritage Crafts exhibition on October 5-6 in the capital.
Headed by Tootli Rahman, President, the members of BHCF are nationals who take great pride in their classic "Deshi Make"! This is one of its kind platforms in Bangladesh. BHCF is a unique, non-profit foundation to resort, revive and boost the hundreds of years of old heritage and priced possessions in cottage industries/crafts of Bangladesh. This foundation will facilitate, help income generate, support and engage a large number of highly skilled, yet nearly extinct craftsmen all around Bangladesh.
"Three years ago I was requested to do an event, the renowned Folk Fest at the army stadium. Being in charge of the whole event was a challenge but it turned out to be a huge success. However, there was something missing. I loved folk songs and other genres of music but my true passion lies in the world of weaving and I started working on a fest for them, I formed a foundation and started the 1st international weavers fest 2016, where I also displayed various other crafts of Bangladesh.
The clothing line remains a passion and I still do an exhibition once a year in an effort to financially support the weavers and promote our beautiful textile. I have also produced a weavers coffee table book and a short documentary film on weavers of Bangladesh in 2016.
After my second weavers fest last year 2017 -the Planning Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal and Her Excellency Marcia Barnikat encouraged me to continue what I was doing and the minister declared he would give me as much support as he can in my effort to support and encourage our fast declining heritage of Bangladesh. All the support encouraged me to launch The Bangladesh Heritage Craft foundation in 2018," says Tootli Rahman in her inauguration speech.
"While we got 25 creative minded girls-some senior members and some young start ups that were very eager to join this platform. We started this with no funds, no sponsors-we started this with our passion and committment to revive and restore our heritage."
Tootli Rahman in her speech, also, says, "I grew up seeing weavers or tatis as we call them in Bengali, in our house as my mother, like all mothers in those days wore only tater saree, I used to sit with them, completely mesmerized by all the colorful materials they showed one after the other -when this interest developed into a strong bond, I don't know exactly, but I knew I wanted to help these talented weavers who were very poor but extremely talented and hardworking."
Their aim is to showcase our rich culture and to provide a platform for other countries to share their own diverse cultures with us. As part of this event, Rokeya Afzal Rahman, Former Adviser to the Government of Bangladesh, Ambassador to Maldives in Bangladesh H E Aishath Shaan Sakir and Ambassador of Brazil H E Joao Tabajarade Oliveria Junior were special guests for the occasion.
Well wishing expatriates and foreign nationals have extended their warm support for this outstanding foundation.
While sharing her experience in the industry, Tootli Rahman states, "I came back from London in 79 and started my work within this industry, organizing weavers of different areas, mostly at that time Roopganj-jamdani area. I took over few families and decided to help by promoting their materials. So once a year I organized a show, showcasing Salwar kameez (And I must mention that back in those days, there weren't very many of us in the trade). Alongside this, I have been a pioneer in 7 things in Bangladesh-Colour washed pottery, plant rental services, garden landscaping, wedding planning, where I introduced the concept of colourful shamianas, wrought iron furniture, fusion sarees By Deshi etc."