Photo © Pauline Thurn und Taxis
co/rizom is a Vienna-based organisation that is creating a process designed to bring traditional crafts to a wider market and ensure their long-term sustainability. At a time when interest in crafts is exploding but traditional making skills are vanishing, the co/rizom methodology will use design principles and product development methods, as well as simple but effective branding and marketing strategies, to help artisans form small social enterprises and become suppliers to retailers.
To develop this process, we have built a team of experts, created a network of advisors and ensure that the artisans we work with are involved every step of the way as the co-designers of the process.
We believe that traditional crafts can only survive if artisans are empowered and supported and that the co/rizom development tool will help create thriving, resilient and connected communities that can enact fair employment practices, improve the quality of their products and ensure the survival of context-specific skills and historic ways of making that might otherwise be lost forever.
Currently three communities in Georgia, Albania and Romania are part of our program – and another four will be added in fall 2019.
Alex Levac, Photography
»Photography for me is a window to many worlds. I have been a documentary photographer and a photojournalist for almost 50 years. Yet every time I look through the lens I feel I am opening a new window. That is exactly what I felt when I visited Tsernovani & Zaza in Georgia. Photographing the refugees from south Ossetia was like discovering a new world. I did not speak their language but the communication was beyond words. Cooperation was without boundaries or frontiers. I hope this come out in the pictures.«
Susanna Koeberle, Journalist
»Arriving at night, my first glimpses from the taxi window showed a city at once familiar and foreign. A visit to Zaza's workshop outside Tbilisi the next morning revealed a new world, a new reality. It was the beginning of a journey in which every day we discovered new layers and stories of a fascinating country. This variety was reflected in the buildings, the people, the landscape and the food. Last but not least, the encounter with Zaza was instructive. He spoke of the emotional value objects can take on. A testament to the mute yet eloquent language of things.«
Photo © Alex Levac
Pauline Thurn und Taxis, Photography
»Photography is part of my life since I studied photojournalism in Brussels back in the 90ties. I try to counter the overflow of images to reach a more authentic, intimate world. The work documenting the co/rizom project in Albania, road-tripping with Nadja Zerunian, was a truly fulfilling experience. Our leitmotiv was „we stop whenever we feel like it“ - and we did so almost every 15 minutes!«
Marta Galli, Journalist
»Travelling for the first time in Albania you immediately get there are layers there, just like in the architecture of their messy cities … what I saw was a compendium of contradictions and a youthful energy. Past and present are so unusually close.«
Photo © Pauline Thurn und Taxis
Nafez Rerhuf, Photography
»A journey through time that was not a journey through time.
I was fascinated by the attempt to portray traditional crafts in
a contemporary way.«
Jasmin Jouhar, Journalist
Photo © Nafez Rerhuf