We are very pleased to announce that Ali Pretty and her company Kinetika has been awarded funds through the British Council/Arts Council Re:Imagine India scheme to develop an ambitious new project that will take place in India and the UK. Ali has long-standing links with Kolkata and produced an ambitious carnival there (pictured here) in 2003, and so she is especially excited to develop a new project there more than a decade later.

In autumn 2015 Ali, Creative Producer Nicky Webb and associate designer Mark Forrest travelled to Kolkata to meet writers, publishers, craftspeople and artists and beginning to plan a project that will explore the relationship between the Indian city of Kolkata and London and particularly with its port, 20 miles east of the city, at Tilbury in Essex not far from Kinetika’s new home in Purfleet. For two centuries, Kolkata and Tilbury were linked by the commercial trade driven by the East India Dock Company, and by a passenger route that made Tilbury the gateway to a new life for the many thousands of migrants from India who disembarked there on arriving in the UK, and there are many resulting links.

The aim of the project is to use creative writing, textile design and walking as tools for forging relationships, gathering and sharing stories and creating links between the two communities along the banks of the Hooghly and the Thames, and creating a platform for collaboration between artists and writers from both countries.

Watch this space for more information as the project develops!