Since I submitted my application for the Schwalm whitework to be included in the nationwide register of intangible cultural heritage at the Hessian Ministry of Science and Art in November 2021, I have heard nothing more about it.
But now there is news.
I was recently surprised by a letter from the independent expert committee for intangible cultural heritage at the German Commission for UNESCO in Bonn.
My application was not immediately rejected, but was put on hold for revision because some positions were not sufficiently worked out.
I will be given the opportunity to revise my application on these points. I consider the chance of having the Schwalm whitework included in the nationwide register of intangible cultural heritage with a revised application form to be high.
Before doing so, however, the points raised must be considered more intensively. In this way, the statements on the planned conservation measures are to be formulated more precisely and the supporting groups are to be more closely involved in the application process.
For this I need your help.
The application form states, among other things:
9. Existing and planned measures for the preservation and creative transmission of the intangible cultural heritage
Please describe which measures have been or will be implemented by the sponsors of the cultural form in order to ensure the continued existence of the intangible cultural heritage and which measures are planned for the future. Conservation measures serve to raise awareness, to promote, to pass on, in particular through school and extracurricular education, to identify, document, research, enhance and revitalize various aspects of cultural heritage.
I have mentioned a few aspects that I do not want to mention here, so as not to influence you. Because there are definitely other options.
Please let me know – if possible in a comment on this blog post – whether you are already active in conservation measures for Schwalm whitework or would like to become active in the future and what these activities look like (e.g. leading embroidery groups, giving courses , to hold demonstrations at markets, festivals, etc., to meet migrants or vulnerable groups to embroider creatively, to bring embroidery closer to children… much more is conceivable.)
I would also be interested to know how interested and committed the younger, digital generation is to Schwalm whitework. Are there embroiderers who exchange ideas via social media or who are active as influencers in this area?
I would be very happy about active participation. It would ultimately help to pay more attention to the technique that is so important for us embroiderers and to carry it further.
Thank you in advance for your feedback
As luck would have it, I was surprised a second time yesterday. Thanks to the article in the Inspirations Newsletter, another important module for the necessary explanations is given. I am very grateful for that.
If you want to know what an application form looks like, you can have a look at it here:
Da wäre Frau Grein in Willingshausen bestimmt die Richtige, die auch mit Ihrer Enkelin zusammenarbeitet.
Vor der Pandemie fand im Museum in Holzhausen eine Ausstellung statt, in der Arbeiten von Menschen gezeigt wurden, die in der Berufsschule Alsfeld das Schneiderhandwerk erlernten. Ich war beeindruckt von der Kreativität, mit der die jungen Leute die traditionelle Stickerei mit moderner Mode verbunden haben.
Vielleicht kann die Alsfelder Berufsschule hier noch mit Informationen weiterhelfen.
Obwohl ich schon seit Mitte der 70er Jahre in Grossbritannien lebe habe ich immer noch viele Beziehungen zu meiner Heimat, Friedberg in der Wetterau, und auch zur Schwaelmer Stickerei. Deswegen hab ich mich sehr gefreut, als ich Luzine Happel im Internet entdeckte.
Meine Grossmutter hat mir das Naehen und Sticken beigebracht. Leider hab ich wenige ihrer Kunstwerke, da meine Tante nicht viel Interesse daran hatte und vieles weggeschmissen hat. Die Mutter einer guten Freundin von mir hat jahrelang die Schwaelmer Weissstickerei in der Wetterau und Umgebung unterrichtet. Es war Frau Schaefer aus Weckesheim.
Ab und zu versuche ich in meine zeitgenoessische Textilkunst die traditionellen Techniken zu integrieren. Ich faende es sehr traurig, wenn dieses Wissen verloren ginge.
Although I am intrigued by Schwalm whitework, I have only dabbled in doing it myself. There is, though, some presence in social media. If you navigate, for example, to http://www.instagram.com, find the magnifying glass for search, and enter #schwalmembroidery you will see examples that embroiderers have shared.