FabAfriq Magazine

The Second Edition Of The CIAD's Biennal International Dress Conference

“I want people to be able to understand that the development and use of everyday items of fabric and clothing starts at the level of fiber creation and the weaving of threads. That within these woven, knitted matted structures is the foundation of our lives and the essence of our existences.” - Teleica Kirkland, Founder & Creative Director, CIAD

Due to the unique conditions of these interwoven realities, fabric and textiles within many communities of African heritage start life out as one thing and finish life as something completely different. A beloved wrapper, head tie or scarf, might become a skirt or a shirt or an embodiment of ritualistic practice. From there it might go on to be a cushion cover or something else entirely before it ends its life generations later as a rag or a dolls dress. This embedded process of reuse, recycle, renew and the narratives that they inhabit are our stories told through these aspects of material culture that carry the essence of who we are. However, these important narratives are largely left out of mainstream conversations, specifically omitted from the current buzz of sustainability, thus further erasing this innovative approach to sustainable practice as used by peoples of the African Diaspora.

In line with CIAD’s aim to reveal the untold and often forgotten innovations and narratives, this conference brings together academics and researchers from across the world who are working within the field of Material Culture, African Fashion, Film Studies and Textiles. The work presented on the day will look at the myriad of different factors which have affected the way people of African heritage have sought to develop and use textiles as a way to write their own stories.

Travelling from Brazil, through the Caribbean to Botswana and beyond, the conference will address three main themes; Creative Economy and Sustainability, Identity and Representation and Resistance. Alongside these panels, CIAD is delighted to introduce Key Note speaker Dr Carol Ann Dixon, who will set the tone of the conference. Presenting a paper titled ‘Textured Materialities’, Dr Dixon spotlights eight cities regarded as key centres of creative influence across Africa and high-profile artists of the same region and its Diasporas to explore the significance of objects of material culture for the construction and expression of individual and collective identities in the twenty-first century.


There will also be a unique opportunity to participate in an Adinkra cloth printing workshop led by Daniel Antwi, a generational custodial of the sacred symbols.

This will be a high impact event against the backdrop of high quality research exploring the Fibres, Threads and Fabric of the African Diaspora.

For press passes, interview requests or more information

Ronke Lawalinfo@ariatupr.com


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