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The international project “Surviving Hands” was born the day I realised something across every and each culture around the world is getting lost: the capacity to express ourselves using our hands. To trace the roots of this idea I should go back to the place I was born, a small town in the south of Italy, where crafts are still part of the community and time moves at a slow pace, therefore I grew an interest for local traditions and I always admired those people who can survive – quite literally – thanks to the use of their hands.
I believe craftsmen and artisans are self-contained, work and life match, they can touch what their intentions are, they depend on nobody, sometimes I call them the “Michelangelos” of our times. As it happens, one day all of this came back to me and I asked myself “What can I do to help?” and the answer was right there under my nose: do what you do best. Traveling, writing and photography are a major part of my life, so I set on a quest to travel the world, meet, picture and interview as many artisans and craftsmen as I can, and share their stories with everybody in order to inspire future generations to continue this precious tradition.
These are not things that happen overnight, I started small, literally knocking at artisans’ doors with my camera and trying to explain myself and what I wanted to do, but in time people responded and the project was born. The world is still full of amazing people who take the time to make and not just buy, and after two years into the project, which by now spans from Argentina to Myanmar, I continue to discover over and over a simple but powerful truth: we can learn from our hands, our hands have no country or religion, they made and make us humans.
Carlo Convertini, Founder.