Creativity Activity Service (CAS) is an integral part of the IB Diploma Programme and our school culture. As part of Keystone’s holistic education, our students participate in CAS throughout their school careers. This culminates in an independent CAS project spanning Grades 11 and 12, which allows IB DP students to transform their classroom learning into genuine, real world experiences of growth and personal development.
As part of their CAS project Finger Tips, Grade 12 students Alice and Evelyn have spent their recent school breaks in the remote mountain villages of Guizhou to learn about and document the true essence of the traditional crafts of fabric dyeing and delicate embroidery of the Miao people.
Over time, their learning has morphed into awareness building around these dying crafts. Invigorated by their new experiences and findings, Evelyn and Alice decided to produce a Finger Tips documentary, which they have been screening in front of captive audiences at school and around Beijing. In October, they also organized Finger Tips pop-up exhibits to share their learning and invite appreciation for this art in an effort to revive it and ensure its continuation.
The Miao are an ethnic group that embroiders and records on their clothes their story and history through time. The dyed patterns on their pleated skirts tell the story of their queen and ancestors: the circles represent their ancestors’ footprints in search of their homeland, and the stripes stand for the rivers and roads they crossed. The threaded patterns of their embroidery convey their history and beliefs “endowing hopes and wishes of life into the longitudes and latitudes of threads; women are empowered, materially and mentally, by these skills,” offered Evelyn.
“…When I met the embroidery women in the village, I realized that they are the ones who make this village lovely. I started to really see the value of their artwork, and I really wanted to protect this art that is disappearing. I realized the purpose of our journey: to record what we see and to show others,” said Alice.