Aesthetics of Craft Production: With Reference to the Culture Industry Proposal by UNESCO in the Context of India

By Ravi Shankar Mishra.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the backdrop of the UNESCO’s endeavor to promote cultural industries in Asia-Pacific region, India’s enthusiasm can be conspicuously seen in hosting the symposium which finalized the background document for a holistic development of the sector. The agenda set by this document is multipronged; however, ‘income generation’ and ‘wealth creation’ appear to be more significant. This document has identified different slots for different markers of culture amongst which ‘crafts’ are also marked as a separate slot. However UNESCO’s proposal cannot ignore Frankfurt School critiques. Overall, there has been a critique of over-administered culture that promises an ‘integral freedom’ but gets fragmented into high art and products of culture industry that never sum up to what they promise (Adorno, 1991). Cultural sociologists have taken a neutral stand and analyze them just as other important institutions, engaged in creative processes of cultural production (Santoro, 2008). Nevertheless, the critiques of culture industries remain relevant. Culture industries define themselves on the criteria of ‘creativity’, ‘cultural knowledge’ and ‘intellectual property’. They will have to be accommodated with each other on these issues and explore other kinds of relationships that pertain to art, communities and religion rather than only to the pecuniary ones. In crafts communities, art and religion are very significant, yet we have modern knowledge and technology which have been posing as challenges to be reconciled. Aesthetics of crafts are a mélange of the above mentioned forces, and the neglect of even a single phenomenon would be an injustice to the crafts at large.

Keywords: Aesthetics, Crafts, Creativity, Culture Industries, Communities

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.125-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 945.005KB).

Ravi Shankar Mishra

Doctoral Researcher, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India

Ravi Shankar Mishra is a graduate from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi. He has done his MA in sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is working on ‘Aesthetics of Crafts Production’ and ‘Modernization’. His focus is to investigate the sociological dimension of old aesthetics and new aesthetics.

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