Sunday, February 7, 2010

colour me poor

What does it mean to be poor? I have answers from poor weavers. But those answers dont tell me anything. I have to listen much better, before i can even begin to understand what those answers mean.
I have half formed thoughts that elude my grasp. I hear the dyer in bhattiprolu saying, when i see a colour, i see the different quantities of chemicals that have to go in together to make that colour. I hear designers say a colour is its place in the palette, i hear forecasters say a colour is its reality in the customer's wardrobe. All this is knowledge about colour, that goes into making the colour real. There is no slippage in the visual reality of the colour. Everyone agrees on what it means to 'be' a colour, say red. But what does red mean to me? Chemical composition to fashion to emotion.

What does it mean to construct 'poor' from the various social groups that participate in constructing poverty? Weaver poor, NGO poor, Government poor, academic poor.....All this goes into colouring poverty..Does the way we understand a 'concept' make a difference to the way we build knowledge around it?