I talked about Swadeshi in an earlier post, the Gandian economic model he implemented to get the British colonists out of India. Nearly a century later, the web and advances in technology have added multiple layers to our ability to participate in this revolutionary way to be. Last night my friend Eric suggested I talk about desktop making, similar to how desk top publishing changed publishing. What is desktop making or techno Swadeshi? It could be thought of as a way to make things on a micro level, market them via the internet and change how we aquire goods.
My own studio practice has given me the hands on experience to talk about this possibility. I am engaged in making fine porcelain dinnerware, not for mass consumption but for a niche market. My motivation is to do what I am passionate about and make a living doing that. I have chosen not to out source my production, but that doesn't mean I won't out source as much as possible in order to achieve my basic premise. I buy my clay mixed and ready to go, because I can. I buy my glazes. I buy my boxes, packing material and use Fed Ex to ship my work all over the world.
Is this pure Swadeshi? Maybe not, but Gandi also advocated bramacharia! Swadeshi, in the purest sense, is a local movement, becoming self sustaining through the development of a local economy, and local production of goods needed to survive. In its purest form, Swadeshi is a bit heavy. In a free world, a democratic world, I prefer to be engaged with all kinds of people. If I set my priorities, my personal hierarchy as: family, local community, region, nation, world, I am beginning to participate on a more engaged plane of being.
A micro-enterprise, one based on creation, innovation and production, has the potential to replace mass production as a means to satisfy the needs of people for food and goods. Using all the tools available to do this adds traction to an enterprise. That includes the need for a producer to market their work and their story. Social justice is built in. Environmental justice becomes possible. Believing in the power of positive manifestation of reality can and will create an alternate universe that promotes peaceful exchange of ideas, resources and value. Techno Swadeshi. Maybe it's an idea whose time has come. So, make stuff and sell it! (Just be sure it is good...)