Revealed hands

Creating intercultural connections, socialisation and education with textile handicraft.
How did it all start?

Since 2010 at Oloop we have been researching and developing projects, activities and products with the goal of raising awareness on the importance of handicraft and its effects on the well-being of individuals and communities. Our various and dedicated efforts have earned us a place in the list of the 50 most successful Slovenian women in 2011.

The idea for the Revealed Hands project came from a wish to expand our activities and with them the concept of modern design by adding a note of social engagement. We wanted to share knowledge with a group of women that are familiar with textile handicraft, to learn from our shared folk traditions and create something modern, for the times we live in.
The decisive encouragement and financial support for the project came with the tender published by the Slovenian Ministry of Culture and the European Social Fund.

And that is how we began with the Revealed Hands project. The name hints at the concealed faces of women, who communicate with the world through the work of their loving, able and diligent hands.
It is an educational and creative project, meant to help the socialisation and improve employment opportunities of immigrant women from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Kosovo, living in Jesenice and nearby.
The Revealed Hands exhibition concludes the project and presents the creative process and its results.

Whose hands are these?

They were brought to Slovenia by different turns in their lives, coincidences, and difficult conditions in their home countries.
However, they do have some things in common – persistence, patience, skill, precision, and a love for handicraft. The older among them have learned different handicraft skills such as embroidery, knitting or crocheting from their mothers and grandmothers while the young ones have almost completely lost touch with this type of work.
They come from a cultural environment which has a very rich textile heritage, which is in some ways similar to the Slovenian textile cultural heritage.
Most of them take care of large families. Some are pensioners, a few are employed, others are looking for employment, and some of them are looking for ways to find home employment.
Some understand and speak Slovenian well, some not so well. Some of them have therefore seen in these meetings a new possibility for improving and solidifying their knowledge of Slovenian.
All of them have a great desire to practice handicraft, to be financially independent, to meet people outside of the family circle, and to connect with their cultural roots.

What's next?

The result of the project is a collection of contemporary design, hand-made textile products, which are aesthetically and contextually based on the textile cultural heritages of the vulnerable group and enriched with the Slovenian textile heritage. The traditions mix in a fresh and modern way, redesigned for the spirit of the times and the tastes of modern people.
The Revealed Hands creative and educational project wishes to offer women from the vulnerable social groups help in improving their employment possibilities in the field of culture, in finding additional sources of income, and create a supporting working group environment.
Interest in handicrafts and other ‘value added’ products has in fact been increasing in recent years.

The project is led by the OLOOP institution for contemporary textile art and design from Ljubljana in cooperation with the humanitarian and charity association UP from Jesenice.

Revealed hands

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