Seeing Kachchh

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I was warned by so many people that Kachchh, the region of India I have been placed in by AIF, would be boring. As it turns out they couldn’t be more wrong. Around every corner, Kachchh seems to have a new adventure in store. Every minute seems to be filled with amazing landscapes and good company. In my fleeting moments I turn to sketching to document the things I see and to understand them in new ways. Outside of the abundant lessons my fellowship has taught me, it has given me confidence and encouraged me to develop all of my skills – art included. These sketches are the first of many, I hope, archiving images of a place that has become special to me.

 

Coco comes to the AIF Fellowship with a passion for art, visual culture, and artisan craft as means for creating sustainable livelihoods. Coco became interested in India after spending a summer volunteering at a K-12 school in Pali, Rajasthan at age 15. She went on to earn a BA in Asian Studies with High Honors from Colgate University. As an undergraduate, Coco completed field work in Northern India through NYSICCSI, collecting miracle stories from Shirdi and Sathya Sai Baba devotees. North India ignited her appreciation of artisan communities and fair trade movements in rural India. Coco further explored India's visual culture in her senior thesis on the role prints depicting Bharat Mata before 1947 played in the evolution of Indian national identity. A two time Upstate Institute Fellow, Coco brought her aptitude for field work and marketing experience to Upstate New York, where she completed community outreach projects for cultural preservation and art initiatives in the Adirondacks, Utica, and Madison County. As an undergraduate she was a student ambassador for Colgate's Multicultural Center and President of Masque & Triangle, Colgate's student theater. After graduating, Coco was a US Department of State Critical Language Scholar in Jaipur where she continued her study of Hindi at the American Institute for Indian Studies. Coco looks forward to working for Khamir this year, where she will learn more about artisans and art practices in Gujarat.

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