From December 2020 Macedonian Fashion Association (MFA) had the opportunity to organize the Project “RESPONSIBLE FUTURE: CRAFTING YOUTH EMPOWERMENT” Researching and mentoring project designed for students with hearing disabilities from the state school center ”Partenija Zografski” Skopje in the field of inclusion, crafts and fashion.

Over the last six months, above thirty young adults, guided by a plethora of mentors, professors, and university interns from diverse creative industries, collectively investigated how to juxtapose craft and fashion references with personal preferences. Drawing inspiration from the cultural heritage of our past, we aspired to develop the innovators of our future, through a series of knowledge and skills building workshops. The modern vocational programme enriched their curriculum for seeking employment and maximizing potentials within a desired profession. What your eyes are about to witness is an extraordinary visual experience that challenges assumptions of culture and conventions of display

By reframing cultural heritage objects and traditional symbols, the young creators with hearing disabilities from State School Centre “Partenija Zografski’ in Skopje, are guiding viewers through new landscapes of museum exhibition narratives.

The young creatives created original, artistic and experimental works during the educational workshops on fashion, traditional pottery, contemporary ceramics, modern woodworking, and graphic design within the project “Responsible Future”. The trainings that have been held in the state school since the beginning of the year are realized by the Macedonian Fashion Association with the support of the Employment Education in Northern Macedonia – E4E.

The future belongs to the young people, and seen through the prism of the students with hearing impairments in Skopje, it is beautiful, colorful, playful and positive. “Responsible Future” is the name of a mentoring and research project that combines the concepts of inclusion, crafts, fashion and sustainability, to offer a bright perspective to this group of young people, enriching their portfolio with a wide range of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the field of the creative industries, enabling them to seek employment and maximise their potential within their desired profession.
“The Macedonian Fashion Association aims to provide young people with opportunities for a future without restrictions, opening the horizons and awakening the innate talents of every student. Led by a host of mentors, professors, invited peers, community volunteers and university interns in a variety of creative endeavors, the youth have spent the past six months collectively researching how to cross craft and fashion references with personal preferences. Drawing inspiration from the cultural heritage of our past, we strived to develop the innovators of our future, through a program for modern learning in cooperation with E4E – Employment Education in Northern Macedonia “- said Svetlana Bogova Jovanovska, coordinator of the project” Responsible Future ” .
All works are created with a lot of love, energy and dedication of talented students under the mentorship of artist Aneta Popova (contemporary ceramics), master craftsman Slobodan Stoleski (traditional pottery), designer Irina Tosheva and professor Ljubisa Saved (fashion) and Despina Zdravkova from “Rinocca” (modern woodworking), Anita Guy from “Lotus Lounge Chair” (product design), Jana Markovska from “DO: MORE” (graphic design).

Interactive workshops were also held with the prestigious Istituto Marangoni School in London and the non-profit organization Open Style Lab in New York. The capsule fashion collection is composed of unique fashion looks with ancient Macedonian names, which are an inventive reinterpretation of folk costumes and ethno motifs, recreated using only factory textile scraps and handmade details, using the old knitting techniques that young people have transferred by Valentina Kastratovi,, Mirjana Josifoska and Dana Ќoseva.
The final products can be viewed in the “RESPONSIBLE FUTURE CATALOGUE” catalog, which is now available to the public as a digital publication, thanks to the cooperation with Faktor Trust. In the process of its realisation  the students participated themselves, guided by Andrijana and Dimitar Petrovski from “AniDimi Photography”, as well as the three young designers in charge of graphics: Diana Atanasovska, Ana Mitreska and Ivana Mitreska.

Protectors of the fashion editorial are the models Igor Nasteski and Bojana Zlatkova, whose hairstyle and make-up are credited to the make-up artist Marija Lazarova, with a color palette and line shapes inspired by the expressionism of Petar Mazev, as a homage to one of the most important painters in our country.
In step with the world trends for online museum tours and multimedia showrooms, a virtual exhibition of art, handicrafts and designed creations was created, with the support of Europe House and the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje. Viktor Stojkov signs as a videographer, the 3D animation is the work of Gjorgji Despodov, and the author of the music is Bojan Filipovski-Gloomié. Part of the “exhibition” are exhibits from the Museum of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, whose historical artifacts were the starting point for the students from “Partenija Zografski”.
An exhibition that brings together interdisciplinary artworks with a shared fascination of our history treasures. Each handmade piece has its roots in the past, yet a whole other layer of meaning for the future.”The virtual exhibition is an unusual visual experience that defies cultural aspirations and the conventions of its display, guiding viewers through completely new landscapes of museum narratives.

An exhibition that unites interdisciplinary works with a common fascination with the richness of our history. “Every handmade piece has roots in the past, yet a different layer of meaning for the future,” concludes Milan Atanasov, artistic director of the “Responsible Future” exhibition.

The virtual exhibition is supported by Europe House Skopje and Delegation of the European Union, Skopje.