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Karun Thakar Scholarships awarded

The Karun Thakar Fund is presented by Karun Thakar in collaboration with the V&A. The Fund offers scholarships and grants of up to £10,000 to students, early career researchers and emerging practitioners working anywhere in the world on any aspect of Asian or African textiles and dress. Its aim is to enrich the fields of Asian and African textiles and dress by supporting new and original approaches to study and practice, foregrounding fresh perspectives and ground-breaking research.

The inaugural year of the fund saw a huge response from applicants throughout the world. The Selection Committee was thrilled to receive applications from BA, MA, and PhD students based in Nigeria, Senegal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, China, Switzerland, France, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Brazil.


Cloth Cote d’lvoire, first half of the 20th century, Karun Thakar collection

The calibre of applications was extremely high, and following a challenging review process the Selection Committee is awarding funds to three outstanding candidates.

The candidates selected are each working in exciting new areas of research, ranging from the development of contemporary handwoven cloth by Dioula weavers in Northern Côte d’Ivoire, to Kushan influence on trans-Asian fashion, to the potential of e-textile technologies to digitally tell the stories behind minority Chinese textiles and dress. The funds awarded to these candidates will be used to pay tuition, access resources, and conduct research in regions of study. Through the fund, Thakar hopes to contribute to a wider understanding of postcolonial narratives.

Woman’s festive jacket, Miao minority group (Black Miao), Anshun prefecture, Guizhou province, China, 1910 – 1917, V&A

The work of all three awardees will be featured on this page in coming months, and we look forward to sharing their research findings. Next year the second phase of The Karun Thakar Fund will launch with the establishment of the Project Fund. Eligibility and application guidelines will be published later this year.



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