2019 JIAPICH Finalist- Contact Base of India

Secretary: Ananya Bhattacharya (Ms) Country: India NGO Region: Asia & the Pacific Main Domain: Traditional art, craft skills / revitalize ICH as a shared resource for community based creative enterprise. Art for Life (AFL) Contacts Address: 188/89, Prince Anwar Shah Road, Kolkata – 700045, India E-mail: ananya@banglanatak.com Website: www.banglanatak.com Tel: +91 9830173382 * About Contact Base Contact Base is a not for profit working under the trading style of banglanatak dot com. The organization was set up by social entrepreneurs working for inclusive and pro-poor development. Owing to rapid changes in lifestyle, much of our intangible cultural heritage is getting lost owing to lack of audience. The skills in art and craft, traditional knowledge on nature are not recognized as employable skills in conventional developmental paradigm. It was realized that loss of opportunity to perform and practice was resulting in loss of skills and the tradition bearers were becoming daily wage earners, triggering a vicious cycle of social exclusion and marginalization. To address these challenges the organization started the Art for Life initiative in 2004 with a vision to synergize cultural and economic development. The objective was to revive and revitalize ICH as a shared resource for community based creative enterprise. Contact Base is accredited to the UNESCO 2003 ICH Committee (since 2010) and is in Special Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC (since 2013). It has partnership with UNWTO to promote responsible cultural tourism. It also has national partnership with UNESCO office at Delhi for replication of its Art for Life model for safeguarding ICH. Art for Life (AFL) is the flagship initiative of Contact Base which safeguards intangible cultural heritage by empowering the tradition bearers to develop micro economies based on traditional art and craft skills. Initiated in 2004, Art for Life has led to revitalization of 30+ art and craft traditions of eastern India and socio economically empowered 28000+ families of folk dancers, singers, theatre groups, storytellers, mat weavers and crafts persons. Safeguarding activities undertaken include inventorying, documentation, revitalizing the skill transmission process, capacity building for developing creative enterprise and supporting new innovations, heritage education, awareness generation through festivals and events to create new audience and facilitation of direct market linkage. Art for Life works at three levels, art, artist and village. The art form is safeguarded through documentation, strengthening of skill transmission and promotion. The artists are empowered to professionalise their skills, reach out to audiences through stronger networks and innovate for contemporary audience. Ecosystem is developed in villages of tradition bearers so that they become destinations for heritage education and tourism.


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Venue : INDIA