The British Council Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL), and The Institute for Future Creations (TIFC), successfully hosted a series of roundtable discussions focused on the current state of craft education in Sri Lanka. The roundtables brought together industry experts, educators, and young designers to explore opportunities and strategies for the amplification of crafts in the country.
The roundtable discussions were spearheaded by UAL Knowledge Exchange Leader, Hannah Middleton, and Dr. Satya Banerjee and included TIFC Co-Founders, Selyna Peiris and Robert Meeder. These think-tanks facilitated insightful conversations on the value of craft education in both domestic and international contexts, aiming to strengthen the artisan educational landscape in Sri Lanka.
Orlando Edwards, Country Director at the British Council Sri Lanka, highlighted the alignment of this initiative with the British Council report The Creative and Cultural Industries in Sri Lanka and said, “The roundtable discussions and the ongoing exploration of opportunities exemplify our commitment to addressing the challenges outlined in the report. This baseline study provides crucial insights into the current state of the cultural and creative industries of Sri Lanka. By bringing all players together and providing recommendations for growth, we are taking significant steps towards advancing the sector as a whole.”
Hannah Middleton, UAL Knowledge Exchange Leader said: “We are delighted to collaborate with esteemed institutions and experts to address the challenges and opportunities in craft education in Sri Lanka. Through these discussions, we have identified the need for collaboration across institutes, emphasizing the importance of bringing stakeholders together to support the future of craft education.”
The roundtable discussions revealed a positive and progressive mindset among the young designers and creatives in Sri Lanka, who are eager to work together and make a difference, as well as underscoring the importance of fostering collaboration, supporting young talent, and creating a platform that brings together all stakeholders to drive the future of craft education in Sri Lanka.
Selyna Peiris and Robert Meeder, Co-Founders of TIFC, emphasized this, stating, “Our findings highlight the need for a united approach, where industry, academia, and government come together to provide comprehensive support and resources for the next generation of creatives. We are thrilled to witness the enthusiasm and commitment of the next generation of young creatives in Sri Lanka. Their passion and innovative ideas will shape the future of the Fashion, Textile, and Craft community.”
The valuable insights gathered during the roundtable discussions will serve as the foundation for further research and the development of effective strategies to support craft education in Sri Lanka. The British Council Sri Lanka, London College of Fashion, UAL, and TIFC are committed to sharing these findings upon completion, ensuring their impact extends beyond the roundtables.
Images – Avishka Srimal