silk river
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Silk River

As part of a year-long programme marking the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and the cultural relationship with the UK, Kinetika have created Silk River, an ambitious project which explores 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, is collaborating with associate artistic director Ruchira Das (Think Arts, India) and 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 will gather, share and retell stories of these riparian communities through interpreting them onto 20 hand-painted Murshidabad silk scrolls


Silk River will culminate in two performative walks –

Along the Thames between 15th – 24th September and

along the Hooghly between December 6th – 17th, 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 App

Explore Silk River through the art, images and reflections of the people that made it possible.
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September 27, 2017 / Silk River

Thank you!

All ten of the Silk River UK walks are now complete! What an amazing journey - 138 miles by boot and by boat from Kew all the way to Southend on Sea. We would like to extend a heart felt thank you to all the partners, performers, artists, walk leaders, link walkers, schools, teachers, boat owners and participants who made it such an outstanding success.
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September 24, 2017 / Silk River

Day Ten: Warning: This Kind of Thing Could be Addictive

Dawn on the last day of our journey and I’m staring out the window into a tarnished silver mirror that is the Thames estuary. It is a perfect day for a walk..
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September 23, 2017 / Silk River

Day Nine: We Cross the Border into Picturesque

It has taken a week of walking from Greenwich to reach a place that knows for sure that it is picturesque.
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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 -17th: Indian Walks


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