Thank you to KULTURAUSTAUSCH for the invitation to write an article on the history of upcycling and rethinking how we treat waste materials. For me, this was an opportunity to delve into a fascinating subject that crops up more and more in my role as a curator. It enabled me to discover things that I was unaware of such as the Indian concept of Jugaad, meaning ‘quick fix’, ‘hack’, ‘workaround’ in Hindi; and Boro, the ancient Japanese art form that began with the practice of rural villagers mending and patching together old fabric scraps to create a new fabric.
The article appears in the Make it yourself (Issue IV/2021), which you read online here or purchase a print copy. KULTURAUSTAUSCH is published by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, and every issue focuses on one theme for which authors from around the world are invited to explore it from their unique perspectives.
Image credit: A Kintsugi bowl from Japan. Photo: Motoki Tonn / unsplash