Hallo Christine Ax und alle,
Ich sende Nachrichten über unsere Forschung in Schuhe.
Sollten wir mehr Forschung tun?
Two months ago we spoke about the modern craft of shoemaking and the
local production of customize shoes. You participate in the company
and you were interested that they donate one of their
custom local shoe production machines to an African village.
I apologize that I have been slow to respond. Here in Lithuania I have
had to move out of our headquarters in Pavilnys and am trying to ensure
our future there. It has also been a challenge to start up our video
bridge project there which Franz Nahrada helped us win. And now I'm
working on my US taxes.
There is enormous interest in collecting shoe stories in Africa and
looking for cobblers who are "independent thinkers". After I mentioned
your plan, we had some great response:
* Fred Kayiwa in Uganda shared a wonderful interview with cobbler
Charlse Yiga of Uganda Crafts:
* Samwel Kongere in rural Kenya, in Lake Victoria, shared his thoughts:
* Surya Rao Maturu in India shared a contrary perspective with ideas for
importing shoes from India. He also told us of a tailor in Delhi who
uses an online website to offer custom design and fabrication of suits
for people in London. And Surya posted photos of a traditional cobbler
in India and his tools and how he works, see:
* Sasha Mrkailo in Serbia posted excerpts from five stories from the
Internet about "new craft" shoemakers at:
We would love to work further. Are you still interested? We agreed that
a next step would be for 100 euros we could collect some stories to look
for the "independent thinker" cobblers who might make best use of your
machine. Should we do this? For this money our participants in several
African countries (such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania) would interview one or more "independent thinking" cobblers
about their personal values, their work life, their business vision,
their community activity and their thoughts on making best use of your
machine. We will interview in at least five locations. Where possible we
will send photos and video. Sasha Mrkailo in Serbia will help them post
their stories at our wiki and at MyFoodStory http://www.myfoodstory.com
and Surya Rao Maturu in India will help us organize this in the context
of our work to collect "appropriate technologies" as that is a current
interest at our lab. Note that with additional funding we can keep
collecting more stories and interviews. As we go we will discuss the
candidates and we can also do more rigorous analysis and comparisons.
If you like this idea, then please let's discuss it further or simply
PayPal me 100 euros at ms@...
I can send you an invoice if you provide
me your details.
I hope we might work for you. This is an exciting opportunity for all of
us and certainly for the village that you select.
Do others at New Craft have any news to share?
Christine Ax, It was wonderful to meet you in Hamburg! I'm excited
about your ideas on shoe production in Africa. (A special thank you to
Stella Loewenberg for encouraging me to come to Hamburg.) I share my
letter with our NewCraft, Holistic Helping, Mendenyo and Social
Agriculture working groups. [...]
Yesterday I spoke with Christine Ax who leads our New Craft working
She is interested to collect "shoe stories" about what our shoes mean to
us in our lives. She wants to know about our "shoe cultures" around the
world: why we wear them, how we get them, how we repair them, where we
wear them. She is studying:
* What kind of shoe culture has existed before the modern sport shoes?
* What kinds of shoe and shoe culture would people like to have?
* What kinds of problems do they have with the shoe culture of today?
* What would be a good location and team to build up a local shoe industry?
She participates in a company http://masschuh.de
personalized shoes that exactly match the shape of an individual's
foot. You can imagine the shoemaker making measurements of a person's
foot, putting those numbers in a computer, and then a machine cutting
the leather into the exact shape for the shoe to be sewn together. She
is looking for a place in our network where we know shoemakers, somebody
who knows how to sew leather to make the uppers for the shoes, who knows
how to work with leather and can repair shoes. The idea would be to
send a machine so as to demonstrate what her company can do. Then high
quality shoes could be created at a reasonable price for the local
people. And perhaps there could be some export to members of our lab!
This is not mass production, it is the opposite: shoes individually
crafted for each foot! In particular, the left shoe and the right shoe
can be different! Most people's feet do not have the same shape.
Helen, please focus on shoe stories - short stories (two or three or
four sentences) about individuals who wear shoes, and long stories
(interviews) with shoemakers. I also ask Sasha to collect some shoe
stories at MyFoodStory http://www.myfoodstory.info
(they can be related
to agriculture or not).
I encourage all of our Africans to send us some shoe stories because we
will have a bit of new money from Christine (100 EUR minus any fees) for
one person to work on this. I will decide who would be the right person
to make sure that we have stories from our entire network. From all of
the shoe stories we will think and decide together, what would be the
best location in our network to have a local shoe production machine and
Also, do we know German speakers in Africa, such as in Tanzania or
Cameroon? That would help.
We also discussed some day perhaps setting up a machine in the South
Side of Chicago because of the immense interest there in footwear and
the great impact that local production might have.
This is wonderful news and is an example of the great possibilities we
have by relating our investigations and our resources!
AW: [newcraft] Shoe stories and Thank you, Helen and Josephat
Dear Andrius, thank you so much for our interesting meeting in Hamburg
und the follow-up you are already starting. I enjoy very much the idea
to collect knowledge about traditional and contemporary shoe-culture.
I´m sure, there MUST exist an important treasure of “shoe-knowledge and
shoe-culture” in the world, and when I´m talking about shoe-culture – it
mean our traditions to protect, cloth and decorate our feets and the
experiences we and our feets have with modern shoeware. Concerning the
support of a small shoe factory: we need a place and people having the
possibility to work with computer and plotter, can go to the internet
and have some experience in repairing shoes or sewing leather.. So far,
good by! Christine Ax
Tel..: 040 59350021