At the beginning of the 21st century, before Art began to Illuminate Mankind, it had to illuminate two hearts and two minds in 2002. That was when Gopal Poddar met Sonali Chakraborti, and the two hearts beating as one founded AIM. Over the past 14 years AIM – Art Illuminates Mankind, has been working extensively with Traditional Arts and Crafts across the whole country.
Art Illuminates Mankind (AIM) is a society registered under West Bengal Registration Act XXVI of 1961, established in 2003. A grass root level social enterprise, and a welfare organization envisioning holistic encouragement of artisan’s creative capacity. AIM believes that each artisan, each art form, and tradition has vitality worth celebrating. AIM is a member of Fair Trade Forum India, Craft mark, Silk Mark, and Export Promotion Council of India.
AIM has been able to make the traditional craftsmen and artisans raise their heads, realize their importance and value, and grant them the respect and status they deserve in society. AIM believes in the motto ‘Be Peaceful and Useful’.
AIM has been able to bring great craftsmen and artisans from all over India to one major festival in Kolkata- "Karigar Haat" where they could display their skills, not only with their products but with their creativity in music, song, and dance.
MORAM our training and production center, just 12 km from Santiniketan, the abode of learning. This project is collectively driven by the people belonging to the marginal sections of the society.
DESHAJ, our indie fashion, and lifestyle brand took ‘indigenous to international’ with the innovative products made by the skilled craftspersons at Moram, and this is paving the way to train more and more young people especially women, to display their skills and become economically independent and socially recognized. DESHAJ has been working on the palette of eco-fashion for years.
ART today has been commodified to such an extent that we have completely forgotten the beauty of it. Artisans who practiced these are themselves unaware of its richness. Hence they have no understanding of its commercial value. Consequently, they remain very poor and moves on to look for an alternate source of livelihood. These factors pose a serious threat to the extinction of certain art forms.
AIM was founded as an expression of love, peace, and humanity in our traditional art and culture. The core idea is to preserve the native art forms and prevent them from dissolving in the depths of time. We wanted to offer "Freedom in Art". The freedom to express Art in your own right.
AIM believes that each artisan, each art form, and tradition has vitality worth celebrating.
1. To give each artisan access and control over a significant financial resource.
2. To nourish and cultivate the traditional skills of each artisan.
3. To empower rural and tribal women, both economically and socially, and enhancing their self-esteem.
4. To preserve the traditional native Art forms and prevent them from extinction.
5. To promotes and nurture various art forms by training artisans and honing their skills through various livelihood programs of the Indian/State Govt. This also helps the artisans in finding a livelihood through their art form. These pieces of training are held at CFC Bolpur on regular basis.