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



January 23, 2018 / News Coverage, Silk River

Bath Echo

Bath Spa University celebrates end of Silk River programme of cultural exchange.
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Silk River flags in front of Victoria Memorial Kolkata
December 20, 2017 / Press Release, Silk River

A living bridge between two countries

“A living bridge between two countries” – artists from West Bengal and Thames have taken part “in one of the most important projects of the Year of UK/India Culture.”
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December 19, 2017 / Silk River

Exhibition at Victoria Memorial Hall

Open now from the 19th to 31st December, all 20 of the Silk River scrolls will be on display in the spectacular Central Hall at the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.
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December 18, 2017 / Silk River

Closing Speech from Ali Pretty

Ali Pretty delivered the following address at the Silk River Closing Ceremony at Victoria Hall Memorial on Sat 16th Dec
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December 17, 2017 / Silk River

Thank you!

Ruchira Das delivered the Vote of Thanks at the Silk River Closing Ceremony on Sat 16th Dec. Here is the transcript for all those not able to be present.
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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