Silk River

Silk River

As part of a year-long programme marking the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and the cultural relationship with the UK, Kinetika created Silk River, an ambitious project which explored the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and India’s Hooghly River.

Ali Pretty, Kinetika’s Artistic Director, collaborated with associate artistic directors Ruchira Das (Think Arts, India) and Korak Ghosh as well as an international team of artists, writers and photographers to capture and interpret the experience of journeying along these two mighty rivers.


Working in 20 locations from Murshidabad to Batanagar (Hooghly) and Kew Gardens to Southend (Thames) we gathered, shared and retold stories of these riparian communities through 20 hand-painted Murshidabad silk scrolls


Silk River culminated in two performative walks –

Along the Thames between 15th – 24th September and

along the Hooghly between December 6th – 16th, 2017.


Silk River was part of Totally Thames that ran from 1-30 September, 2017

Silk River involves organisations in UK and West Bengal who work in heritage, culture, craft, tourism and education. We are delighted that this exciting project is part of the UK India Year of Culture, which seeks to showcase innovative and creative work from both countries, building deeper connections between communities.

Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director British Council East and Northeast India


Silk River Interactive Scrolls

Explore Silk River through the art, images and
reflections of the people that made it possible.

Silk River Souvenir Programme

View the Silk River souvenir programme HERE



Silk River Tower Hamlets Walk
September 6, 2017 / Silk River

10 Day Count Down – Tower Hamlets

In 10 days time we will be winding our way around the wonderful streets of Tower Hamlets, tracing the footsteps of the Huguenot silk weavers
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Silk River Kew Gardens Walk
September 5, 2017 / Silk River

10 Day Count Down – Kew

We can't quite believe it, but it's only 10 days to go until the Silk River UK Walks kick off!...
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August 31, 2017 / Silk River

Silk River Scrolls at Totally Thames Launch Party

All twenty of the hand painted Silk River Scrolls were finally revealed together at the Totally Thames launch party on 30th Aug. It was the first time that they had all been seen together. Representatives from all ten UK Silk River partners were there to see them, and we were delighted to have been invited to be part of this event produced by Totally Thames.
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August 1, 2017 / Silk River

Indian Walks Open for Booking

We are very excited to announce that the Silk River Indian Walks are now open for enquiries and booking! Participate in a unique 12-day International Residency that has been created especially for the Silk River project.
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July 20, 2017 / Silk River

Silk River Film prompts panel discussion in Kolkata

The Silk River film, shown in Kolkata on 20th July, inspired debate about the importance of place and community in traditional arts
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Social Media



Key Dates


April & May: Design workshops

June 5th – 18th: Textile residency in Kinetika studios

September 15th – 24th: Thames Walks

15th Oct – Diwali, Trafalgar Square
22-27th Oct Kew Exhibition
16th Nov – Exhibition, workshop & reprise performance of  Tower Hamlets walk ‘from Street to Stage’


January 7th – 21st: Textile residency in Murshidabad

January 28th & 29th: Murshidabad Heritage Festival, presentation of scrolls

December 6th -16th: Indian Walks


19-31st Dec: Exhibition of scrolls at Victoria Memorial Hall