This post is especially for you – thank you for your encouragement and being such a wonderful inspiration
VarnikaDesigns started its first social media colab with Suyash Srivastava, Textile Designer. He was completing his project from Siwan in Bihar, one of India’s most sensational states, and gave us live coverage from there.
His main objective before he started the takeover was:
“I am looking forward to take the viewers through the lives of local people in Bihar, focusing on their way of living, the types of products they use, things that lead and influence their lives by building a visual experience for them. Will also be sharing my personal insight that I have observed while living here over the period of time, what misconceptions we have about rural regions and the what golds to pick up as inspiration form their lives and implement in ours”
Day 1: Suyash introduced Siwan, putting its geographical location and context with the rest of the world. He focussed on Siwan and its neighbourhood.
Day 2: He highlighted the local markets and their sustainable purchases. In rural India, Suyash discovered that people buy according to their needs and do not indulge in unnecessarily buying saving on wastage and electricity. Most homes do not need refrigerators – it’s not that people are not buying it because they cannot afford but simply because they are more sensible. They do not just talk sustainability – they practice it!
Day 3: Suyash surprised everyone with an entirely unique approach to weaving, one of the world’s oldest textile making techniques. He taught us to look at weaving closely and how we are surrounded by it without realising it exists 🙂 he even showed us how plastic baskets imitate weaving textures and patterns.
Day 4: Local Cuisine. This was everyone’s instant favourite 🙂 After Bihar’s famous ‘litti chokha’, Suyash discovered its seasonal cuisine, made for delicious survival through the cold Bihar winters. With these yummy ‘ladoos’ made of ’til’ or sesame seeds (he’s described how they are made), who needs electricity run heaters?
Day 5: 26th January was celebrated for the 73rd Republic Day and its relevance in the India of 2020.
There was a gap for a few days as 3 weavers who were walking to their work where Suyash was a part of got hit in a road accident.
Day 6: For the next few days, Suyash kept running from his workplace to the hospital to ensure that everyone was getting adequate medical attention. There was a break in the social media account while we all held our breaths hoping for the best recovery for the weavers.
During this time of duress, Suyash realised the true essence of local support social systems – not just families but the entire village came to check on the welfare of the women admitted in the hospital!
For Suyash, this was a revelation. In urban India, we suffer from isolation and depression brought about through that while rural India presented an entirely opposing story 🙂 thankfully, the women recovered soon.
Once his stress got relieved, he took us inside the weavers’ houses while he visited their families. How life throws up opportunities for us to learn from, and how only the intelligent ones learn 😉 I’ve learnt so much from him.
There were lots of deliberations and introspections…
The observations were minutely recorded and documented for us 🙂
The rural and semi rural residential areas, the distribution of space between the public and the private raised multiple concerns and connections to lifestyles of those living in urban areas. Suyash wrote that he found a distinct disconnect somewhere and led him to question the core of the existence of designers and architects!
Day 7: Sadly, the takeover ended with a quite dramatic poetic exit 🙂
And, that was the story of the first social media takeover. There are videos on the VarnikaDesigns Instagram ‘Highlight’ with the name Suyash.
All photos/videos/captions are by Suyash Srivastava.
The February one will be by Pragati Singhal 🙂 so don’t forget to keep track on VarnikaDesigns on Instagram and Facebook.