Wednesday, September 26, 2018

TSA 16th Biennial Symposium

Textile Society of America

I just returned from Vancouver, Canada having attended the 16th Biennial Symposium of the TSA.  Although many papers are  presented on various subjects there is always an underlying theme to the symposium.  This year was entitled "The Social Fabric:  Deep Local to Pan Global".

Deep Local, "defined as knowledge, beliefs, resources and practices that are profoundly anchored in particular communities and places, which reflect not only the cultures of the original inhabitants but also those of later settlers."  The intent of the discussions was to "probe the impact and influence of settlers and immigration on an already long-inhabited land, and how textile traditions have been influenced, changed, and/ or adapted through and by cultural contact."  (Program Guide)

Globalization is a critical factor in our lives.  It affects commerce and trade, economic and job development and our ability to connect with peoples throughout the globe.  Introducing the concept of globalization to those communities strongly rooted in the traditions of the Deep Local is a challenging endeavor, but one of great importance, not only to that local community but to the greater whole.  We can no longer claim the superiority of our particular beliefs and customs when there is so much to be gained by sharing with others.  There is a wealth of knowledge to be explored and technology is available to enable us to discover and engage  with those who may enrich our lives.
We must not allow political, bureaucratic policies to obstruct our  endeavors to merge local traditions with global interests.