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 flags in front of Victoria Memorial Kolkata
December 16, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

Silk River – Final Day – Final Thoughts

After four weeks of travel and years of planning, the Silk River has reached the end of its journey with the closing ceremony today at Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial.
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December 16, 2017 / Press Release, Silk River

Silk River Closing Ceremony

Where the Thames and Hooghly meet: Journey of surprises ends with a spectacular finale at Victoria Memorial Hall
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December 16, 2017 / Silk River

India Day 10 – Part Two: Batanagar

You would think the Kidderpore tour was enough for one day, but our Silk River journey included one more wonderful and interesting visit, to Batanagar.
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Lesley explains the Tilbury scroll design
December 16, 2017 / Silk River

India Day 10 – Part One: Kidderpore

“Heritage isn’t only about buildings” says Rishika Mukhopadhyay who has joined us for today’s walk, “it’s about the intangible too, culture and memories, the things we can’t see.”
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December 15, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

India Day 10 – Topsy Turvy

There is something going on with the geography of Calcutta that I don’t understand. It ought to be simple.
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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