These face masks are produced in two distinct styles. The first are made from Awayo, a traditional patterned fabric from the Bolivian plateau, historically woven from sheep's wool, llama, or alpaca and dyed with natural dyes. The second style is Bolivian bordado (embroidery). Each of these masks have been individually hand embroidered with characterful imagery depicting elements of rural life. Both these textile techniques reflect the history and cultural heritage of Bolivia, expressing the dreams, experiences, and creativity embodied in Andean designs.
The organisation Casa de la Solidaridad Proyecto de Vida, is a community initiative in the neighbourhood of Ventilla in El Alto, Bolivia. The project is part of a humanitarian strategy aimed at creating employment opportunities for women living in poverty in suburban neighbourhoods. The project also places an emphasis on the value of its training processes to support the women in becoming agents of change for their community. Composed of an indigenous population, their work has a distinctive identity that makes their craft unique.
PEACE MASK PROJECT
The Peace Masks Project aims to combat the shared threat of COVID-19 and provide livelihoods to those living and working in conflict affected areas. The project forms part of a larger effort by the Peace Dividend Initiative to help ease tensions in conflict-affected areas by identifying and facilitating key peace-supporting economic opportunities and encouraging cooperation.
Peace Masks not only provide livelihoods for communities affected by conflict and violence, but weave peace into the fabric of these fragile communities by connecting them in a productive process that boosts co-existence and reconciliation and helps soothe grievances.
For this project, PDI has partnered with ISHKAR, who sell to an international market, building “peace value chains” and delivering livelihoods to at risk populations.