Lecture by Dr Sarah Fee:
Born of the Indian Ocean: the textile arts of Madagascar. 19.00 GMT via Zoom.
The large island nation of Madagascar lies just a few hundred miles off the coast of eastern Africa. Yet many aspects of its textile arts -- from body tension looms to dyes -- can be traced to maritime Southeast Asia which lies 3000 miles away. How is this so?
This talk by Dr Sarah Fee traces how the women weavers of Madagascar over several millennia have selectively adopted materials and technologies from around the Indian Ocean. Their remarkable weavings incorporate fibres, dyes, and techniques that are both unique to the island, and over time have also been imported from Southeast Asia, India and Southeast Africa. The talk is based on Sarah’s 30 years of research on textile making and trades in Madagascar, which includes extended fieldwork in the island, archival research, and studies of museum objects in over 20 international museums.
Dr Sarah Fee is Senior Curator of Global Fashion&Textiles at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Oxford and the School of Oriental Studies, Paris. Her research focuses on the weaving and dress arts of the western Indian Ocean world. Her most recent exhibit and publication project is “Cloth that Changed the World: the Art&Fashion of Indian Chintz” (ROM/Yale University Press, 2020).