Excerpts of texts written by Ruth Cardoso on the methodology of the Solidary Craftwork (ArteSol) Program:
¹ “This is how the Solidarity Community Program works, searching for partnerships and creative solutions that serve as an alternative for improving the living conditions of more marginalized populations, involving diverse sectors of society in a development process in which we are all partners.“
² “Consultants with ample experience in community work implement the actions planned by the Program in a decentralized form. The focus on tradition is not nostalgic, since craftwork is treated as a contemporary practice that is reproduced, affecting the recreation and dialogue with the present-day world. In this view, the valorisation of the knowhow of these artisans raises the group’s self-esteem, reaffirming the individual and the collective.”
³ “By listening to the craftworker communities, their demands and suggestions, we can design work plans to support what they already do and expand the number of people involved.”
According to Ruth Cardoso, the work’s essence resides in the development of citizenship that pervades all the activities of the Solidarity Craftwork Program, whether in the workshops designed to enhance the quality of the product, or in the strengthening of organizational structures, or in the workshops on price formation. ⁴ “With this kind of work the program was able to attract more people into craftwork production, including young people who tend to be uninterested in local traditions.”
⁵ “The valorisation of craftwork activity is reflected in areas linked to love of oneself, which leads people to search for more dignified living conditions since they feel deserving of such improvements […] The diversity of themes, materials, styles and techniques involved in Brazilian crafts is a reflection of the coexistence of diverse cultural, economic and social realities, whose protagonists – not always known or recognized – are true artists.”
⁶ “Craftwork is an economic activity with a huge potential, as well as an invaluable tool in the process of strengthening or reviving regional cultural identities. It may not make anyone rich, but the families and communities involved in craftwork production have something that reveals them in all their dignity, as well as helping to counterbalance the adverse conditions of subsistence resulting from the climate of isolation and forgetting.”
¹ ³ ⁴ ⁵ ⁶ CARDOSO, Ruth. C. Comunidade Solidária: Fortalecendo a sociedade, e promovendo o desenvolvimento. Editora Comunitas, 2002.
² PROGRAMA ARTESANTO SOLIDÁRIO. Mestres Artesãos. São Paulo, 2000. Publicação Institucional.