“Ser:kel” marks the first solo exhibition of artist Shivani Ragavoodoo, highlighting contemporary pandanus (vakoa) weaving to create an amalgamation of tradition and experimentation. This exhibition was presented until May 18 at the Nouvelle-Usine, Mangalkhan.

“Ser:kel” takes us on a non-linear journey, inviting us to follow vakoa, a locally sourced natural fiber, as a witness to our shared island histories. This exhibition unfolds as a series of progressive assemblages, where the artist facilitates intimate and unexpected encounters with the origins, manufacturing, processes and manipulations of vakoa.

Shivani Ragavoodoo's artistic journey is deeply rooted in natural fibers, craftsmanship, environmental science and the principles of biodegradability and circularity.

His designs fuse traditional craftsmanship with a contemporary eco-responsible approach, reflecting his deep understanding of materials and their impact on the environment. At the age of 28, Shivani Ragavoodoo holds a degree in sustainable product design from the University of Mauritius. In 2023, she was selected by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to participate in their mentoring program, specifically designed for women entrepreneurs from indigenous peoples and local communities. The same year, she collaborated with Imiloa Collective to launch “Weave Wove Woven”, a capacity building program for women entrepreneurs focused on pandanus skills, funded by the British Council.

Since 2018, Shivani Ragavoodoo has been the proud owner of Cahaya, a fashion brand specializing in accessories made locally from woven pandanus and glass beads. In the future, Shivani Ragavoodoo plans to professionalize the craft of pandanus weaving. His future project aims to improve the livelihoods of artisans involved in this age-old craft and position the craft on a global scale while fostering innovation. Through her work, she aspires to recognize the rich heritage of pandanus weaving.

The “Ser:kel” project was initiated by the artist Shivani Ragavoodoo, who then worked in close collaboration with members of the Resort collective to nourish the discourse around her artistic practice and give a curatorial framework to this exhibition. Resort is a place of support for artists, created by artists, animated by gestures geared towards a decolonizing future. Additionally, Resort seeks to provide space for critical thinking, experimentation, free speech, conversation and reflection.

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