On and Friday, 27 and 28 June, ‘Humanitarian Handicrafts: Materiality, Development and Fair Trade thursday. A Re-evaluation’, a collaboration involving the University of Huddersfield, Leeds Beckett University together with Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute associated with the University of Manchester, brought together historians, curators, archivists and craft professionals to explore handicraft production for humanitarian purposes through the late 19 th century to the current. Topics ranged through the work associated with the humanitarian reformer, Emily Hobhouse (1860-1926), creator of Boer Residence Industries within the aftermath regarding the 1899-1902 South African War, through lace-making in Belgium during WW1 and initiatives in Eastern Europe after WW2, towards the work associated with the Huddersfield Committee for Famine Relief (‘Hudfam’) and Oxfam through the belated 1950s.
Oxfam’s handicrafts story as well as its archive had been showcased highly during the seminar in papers on ‘Helping by offering’ from 1963, Oxfam’s scheme for the acquisition of handicrafts from manufacturers in bad nations easily obtainable in the U.K., the profits being came back as funds for humanitarian work; the building blocks of Oxfam’s ‘Bridge’ fair trade organization in 1975, the very first when you look at the U.K. and most likely in European countries; as well as the growth of the Global Federation for Alternative Trade, later on the planet Fair Trade organization, with Oxfam’s help. In addition, the ongoing work of Cecil Jackson-Cole had been considered. Jackson-Cole, a creator and long-lasting Hon. Secretary of Oxfam, continued to receive charities including assist the Aged and ActionAid and ended up being instrumental in starting charity stores in Southern Africa into the 1970s. Continue reading