Savoir-Faire - South Africa
It’s always the same story. Traditional Handmade Craft dies out. Even the memory of it is threatened. Centuries of knowledge and creativity disappear in front of us whilst the evolving modern economy becomes our reality. Mass production and globalization reduce the cost of common objects so much that handmade items become meaningless. Environment and working population usually pay the price of it. Handmade is not profitable anymore, machines replace hands, and as artisans and craftsmen dwindle, their knowledge and skills die out.
Loosing a craft tradition is like watching our cultural identity slowly vanish, and with it the sense of taste given to us by those that explored, developed and refined it, generation after generation.
Because of the passion I have for people and crafts, I set out to discover and explore them through their work. After hitting the road through Europe and France looking for the heart of working artisans, I came across Storie, a Parisian shop looking to encourage fair trade and an ethical way of consumption. Together we decided to start this unbelievable challenge: to document and share all the handmade beauty in the world before it passes away, and with it, a part of our mankind's history and passion.
The first step of this odyssey took us to the outer limits of Africa, through Swaziland to Zulu lands. Here we met a proud people with a cultural heritage that is in the grip of the fast modernisation of the continent.