Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Art & Design (IIAD), and the HELP Foundation.
15th – 22nd December, 2017
Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa


In the autumn of 2017, Serendipity Arts Foundation (SAF) collaborated with the Indian Institute of Art & Design (IIAD), a premier higher education institution that is committed to furthering the cause of design as an enabler for social change, and the HELP Foundation, a multi-faceted NGO in Kashmir that provides educational, psychological, and socio-economic support to the people of the region.

Over the course of a weeklong workshop with women who have been empowered to work as trained artisans and embroiderers, SAF asked them to respond to the idea of Christmas, and what it means to them. Through sketching sessions, activities, and conversations, the artists put their own spin on an unfamiliar holiday by creating ornaments blended with Kashmiri motifs they’ve known all their lives—the Chinar leaf, willow branches, apple blossoms and the paisley print.

This little gift from Kashmir to Goa is a window into the intricate work of these women artists, and a small symbol of their resilience and strength. The ornaments were transported to Goa and put for sale during Serendipity Arts Festival 2017.

These ornaments were sold at The Festival Shop, Serendipity Arts Festival 2017.

Photos from the workshop in Srinagar in 2017.

HELP Foundation J&K, Civil society organisation working for the phsyco social and socio economic development of victims of Kashmir conflict.  SHEHJAR is the trade name of Help foundation  for hand made products of kashmir backed by a collective of underprivileged women workers who have suffered the most during two decade long political unrest in the valley.  Widows and underprivileged women who were on doles of  foundation were imparted skills to earn the sustainable livelihood. These ladies nowadays work at their homes and many of them at production centers run by the foundation and sell their produces under the brand name SHEHJAR.

The Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD) is a premier higher education institution that is committed to grooming the next generation of reflective, ethical, entrepreneurial design practitioners and design thinkers. The institution strongly subscribes to the view that design is a potent enabler for social change.  With this objective, the faculty and student team at IIAD regularly interacts and collaborates with organizations that are working in the social sector, to leverage their design skills for furthering the cause of these organizations, while creating a symbiotic relationship between the participants to learn from each other.