For the past 15 years I have been a destination wedding photographer, an adventure photographer, and travel writer across the globe. The most satisfying work I have done has been for Novica, in Association with National Geographic, which is a global catalog that represents artisans from the around the world who are practicing what I like to call “Vanishing Arts”.
Picture the people who are making these vanishing arts, like the women of the Karen, or “long neck” tribe on the border of Burma and Thailand who wear the rings on their necks and are known for their very intricate weavings, or a 90 year old man in Bali, Indonesia who is the last of a long line of ancient hand carved bamboo flute makers, or the Quechua people of Uros, the floating grass islands of Lake Titicaca, Peru who make all kinds of art made from grass and have knitted for centuries. These people have lived off of their craft for generations and passed down their skills to their children and children’s children. But now all of this is being threatened by technology and modern-day luxuries. Because of tourism, these people have been exposed to the outside world and many of their children want to leave and find other ways to make money and survive. So when this generation of artisans passes on, so will their craft and all knowledge of it. They will just vanish.
Novica’s mission is to bring awareness and provide a platform for these global artisan that allows them to make money creating their art forms while preserving their culture and way of life. Through doing this they have saved villages, empowered women to have jobs and support their families, educated people about environmental preservation, and spread the word about some of these amazing cultures that are remote and rare.