Co Create

A Practice-based Exploration into the Role of Embroidery and Textiles as Identity and Heritage of Isolated Communities

Funder: AHRC.


Team: Claire A Baker; Jayne Wallace (Northumbria University);


Timeframe: 2019-2022

This research takes place at a time when the textile heritage and regional embroidery traditions of an isolated community will otherwise be lost due to government tactics and an ageing population. Through community-based participatory and qualitative research, this project works with the self-settlers of Chernobyl, Ukraine documenting individual and community narratives. Textile design examples form an archival legacy of their rapidly diminishing population and the building of the archive becomes more urgent with the realisation of a finite period of time available.

Practice-based research, including the making of new artifacts based on documented techniques, will be used to promote dialogue with the younger generations of Chernobyl’s diaspora around matters of identity and cultural heritage. This project will lead to novel contributions at the intersection of design and cultural heritage, highlighting the important role regional design and craft practices have in shaping and holding together community identity and heritage as well as linking place and memory.


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