- About Ali
To report on the progress of the Silk River project, Ali has been writing a blog.
This is an extract from ’10 days in November’.
Silk River is underway.
Ali Pretty, Jacci Todd, (Kinetika UK) and Ruchira Das, Naireet Basak (Think Arts) took a ten-day journey along the banks of the Hooghly to hear stories from local people along the way.
After a short tour of each place the team conducted drawing workshops sketching ideas on paper, as the foundation for the designs of a story map to be created at a textile residency in Murshidabad in January 2017
Between September and December 2017, these communities will be linked with ten more along the Thames to exchange their stories during two ten day walks and share them with the world in the form of 20 hand-painted Murshidabad silk scrolls.
10 days in November
In spite of the world reeling in shock at the election of Trump and a lack of cash on the streets of Bengal, our journey must continue.
Day 1: Murshidabad.
We retrace British footsteps to the source of this narrative – Silk.
A short walk from the river at Jiaganj, we turn off the main street and follow one hundred metre-long lines of freshly dyed red silk drying in the morning sun to enter Tatapari. The street is filled with the sound of the steady rhythm of working looms emanating from dark sheds where weavers create intricate patterns transforming thousands of fine threads into beautiful silk sarees.
Crossing the river to Azimganj we pass several old Raj Bari’s, gaining a glimpse back into the Zamindar era moving on to visit numerous Jain temples ranging in style from the superbly detailed terracotta Char Bangla to the delightfully kitsch newly painted Jain headquarters.
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