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 in Murshidabad
April 20, 2017 / Silk River

Silk River Talk 30th April 2017

Coinciding with the Isle of Wight Walking Festival & Richard Long’s exhibition, Ali Pretty will be speaking about 'Silk River', this major international walking project that connects the Thames and the Indian river Hooghly.
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Silk River is part of UK India 2017
February 15, 2017 / Press Release, Silk River

Silk River – UK / India Year of Culture Press Release

Silk River, a major project led by Kinetika, is to be part of the UK-India Year of Culture. Date: 15.02.17...
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February 12, 2017 / News Coverage, Silk River

From Thurrock to the World

Fantastic feature now live where Ali discusses with Essex Life her passion for history, Thurrock and its links to the world and how this all ties in with the current Silk River project.
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February 7, 2017 / Silk River

Kinetika invites West Bengal Patachitra artists to work with communities along The Thames Estuary

A week of workshops will kick off the Silk River project in the UK, collaborating with the Government of West Bengal and UNESCO Rural Craft & Cultural Hubs (RCCH).
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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