Editorial: Burning issues

Life is like a freeform basket weaving, composed of circles, of cycles, of harmonious mixings. The harmony appears global, but as soon as one takes the time to look at the details, it is chaos which reigns and dramas which unfold.

The movements of human populations are one of those cycles which are often scribed in pain. They have existed since the birth of humanity, they are part of its dynamic, of its diversity, its interweavings…

Fear often accompanies these movements, more than the richness that they can bring. Today, the Syrian migrants are knocking at our doors; yesterday it was the Spanish, the Italians; before that it was the Huns, the Saracens, the Moors and more… When these migrations are sudden and massive, they are never happy affairs. So what does all this have to do with basketry? Almost nothing, except that these migrations of people are also movements of ideas, of culture, of technology. of intellect… Be of no doubt, basketry owes much to the movements of people(s).

In this our Spring edition, Grandpa Longo is honored (see page 35) and his daughter Conchettine Longo Perli* remembers, “All that remains to me of Calabria, my homeland, are my cries and my tears. Leaving on the dockside, those who would never make this long journey, which would bring us to France. My parents, who were just 30 years old and with 4 children, chose to leave their parents, friends, roots, culture, traditions, in their search to offer to us through their labour, what seemed to be the best. For us and for themselves they drew a painful line though their pasts: to be immigrants. It was the 1950’s, it was Dantesque! Each day was a challenge with its difficulties to overcome in silence, They had to fight for their place. Sometimes strong words, sometimes with fists, their wild youth and the rage to succeed…”

This text has a unique resonance. The boy has become a venerable nonagenarian, who takes pride and pleasure in teaching all he knows, to all who ask: to the children of this Republic, which once and with reluctance, hosted the “Wops…”

Far from my too angelic vision of the world, our choices and economic challenges loom large. Globalisation is a formidable juggernaut, over which we have little power. And related to this subject there have been two international weaving events recently. One in Poland and the other in Germany, which have allowed us to better understand the difficulty of the economic cohabitation, between very different worlds. They have shown us that reconciliations are possible. That it is better to get to know each other, the better to understand, the better to help each other. This has been the lessons from these events. Also, making the most beautiful baskets in the world, in a great environment, does not prevent one from tending a hand to the women of Africa, seeking to free themselves from the feudal yoke which oppresses them… When we weave together we are stronger to face the obstacles of the future and to use our knowledge to carry us through the innumerable difficulties of modern life.


Bernard Bertrand

* Conchettine Longo Perli, L’Enfant berger de Calabre, auto-edition.


“Burning issues” : Editorial LLC Spring 2016.