Ever heard of a kind of handmade paper that lasts up to 800 years? The extremely durable Dó paper—made from the bark of the Rhamnoneuron balansae and traditionally produced in Vietnam—is renowned for its durability and resilience, and famous for being the canvas for Vietnamese folk art paintings. However, the meticulous manufacturing process of Dó paper, involving up to 100 steps, is fast becoming obsolete due to the rise in mass-produced goods. Wishing to revitalise this industry, Tran Hong Nhung founded the social enterprise Zo Project, which aims to support the livelihoods of artisans and promote the papermaking trade. Not only does Zo Project collaborate with craftspeople and ecologists to implement eco-friendly papermaking techniques, it also works with artists to create a variety of handicrafts that combine ancient cultural elements with contemporary design. If ever on a visit to Hanoi, check out the Zo Souvenir Shop, nestled in a surprisingly tranquil corner by the train tracks amid the bustling Hoan Kiem area.
Service Learning | Sociology of Culture
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