During last week's seminar we had a guest speaker and workshop with Ihitashri Shandiliya, the founder of MITHILAsmita. MITHILAsmita is a social enterprise to preserve and promote heritage Indian forms with a focus on ancient madhubani paintings, and support the rural women artists practicing the art through various self-sustainable initiatives. The art of Mithila is characterized by the richly colored free hand figures that depict scenes from mythology and its reflection in daily life. They have a style so unique, with deliberately out of scale curves and miniaturizations, that anyone familiar with art will know with one glance that they are looking at the work of Mithila artists. Today, Madhubani art is recognized the world over, not just for its forms and colors, but also the deeply meaningful stories it portrays. 

The workshop was really interesting. We got to connect with a local girl from India through a videocall and she taught us how to swep the crystals. At first, it seemed very easy, but when we got to try, it was really difficult to do it correctly and with the shape of a star. It was very insightful to see how craft is still really important in some regions of the world. Nowadays, due to globalization, heritage and craft are getting lost, and therefore it is very important to support these communities to preserve the traditions. Preserving the Indian ancient art is Ihitashri's mission and her attitude to encourage artists to practise art in their own authentic style to ensure that art is passed down to future generations in its true form was really inspiring. Every product/service by MITHILAsmita supports the livelihood of one or more traditional artists, which is incredible. 

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