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



December 15, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

India Day 9 – Knots

Ask any British person where in the world they would like to go, at least once in their life, and I’ll bet that a visit to India would be at the top of the list. And if there was one experience that such potential visitors would specify, it would be a journey on Indian railways.
Read More
Hooghly at Jorosanko by Mike Johnston
December 13, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

India Day 8 – Trades

It’s our last day on the river today. We leave at seven in a fast-running tide that’s carrying rafts of water hyacinth along, some of them inhabited by pond herons.
Read More
December 12, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

India Day 7 – Doors

After breakfast we take a bus through Barrackpore and get down near the river a few kilometres upstream from where we are staying. Then we walk down a small lane with walls on both sides.
Read More
Silk River Day 6 Photo Mike Johnston
December 11, 2017 / Silk River

Photos – Silk River India so far!

The photos from the Silk River journey so far by Mike Johnston.
Read More
December 11, 2017 / India Blog, Silk River

India Day 6 – Precision

Dawn eases the world into view from the boat. We are anchored off Chandannagar where today there will be a parade. It’s the best yet. We walk down The Strand with drummers and a team of acrobats on stilts wearing peacock feather headdresses.
Read More
1 3 4 5 6 7 17

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