7th BSEC Month of Culture
1-30 November 2023
Sheki-Republic of Azerbaijan
Sheki is included in UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Crafts and Folk Art (2017)!
One of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan, Sheki is known as a city of fine architecture, sericulture and traditional crafts. Moreover, the city was one of the strongholds of Azerbaijani segment of the ancient Silk Roads. Its well-preserved architectural monuments are closely related to the development of traditional crafts, such as shebeke (wooden-framed stained glass) and pottery. Worth noting, Sheki’s historical center is inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List of cultural sites (2019).
For centuries, Sheki has been the main centre of silk production in the wider region. Today, crafts production represents 14.4% of the city’s incomes, supported by masters-craftsmen specialized in 18 types of craft.
In the context of promoting Sheki’s crafts sector, the Sheki Crafts Association has been created organizing craft fairs, conferences and trainings. The association has implemented various programs with the hope of improving working conditions for craftsmen, creating high-quality crafts products, developing entrepreneurial skills among craftsmen and increasing awareness on tradition crafts within the youth community.
As a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art, and in compliance with the common objective towards which the Network works -making creativity a lever for urban development and conceiving new solutions to tackle common challenges-, Sheki envisages enhancing local creation and production, establishing a hub of vocational education in crafts techniques, developing a multi-stakeholder strategy on cultural tourism, aimed at improving access to artistic workshops, especially for people with disabilities, as well as strengthening partnerships with other Creative Cities.
Photographs No 1 & 3: ©Azerberpa │S. Mammadov
Courtesy of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan
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