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Projects Posted • 28 Sep 2023

Our Stories Through Nakshi Kantha

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Kahaani with WomenZone
Our Stories Through Nakshi Kantha: Rabia Choudhury
The project tells the stories of women’s journeys from Bangladesh to Birmingham, capturing the stories through drama techniques and telling them through Nakshi Kantha, a centuries-old embroidery heritage art form notable to Bangladesh.

Project Partner: New Hope Global
Project Lead: Rumena Ahmed
Location: Birmingham

Overview

Over 12 months, 74 women worked with local artists Abeda Begum, Fateha Begum and Haseebah Ali (who share their heritage and language), gaining a high level of embroidery skills in a stitching tradition, Nakshi Kantha, which resonates with them from their family memories. Adding drama, storyboarding and design to the mix, the women stitched their migration stories into a book, sari and other pieces. The project culminated at Aston Villa FC, where an exhibition was staged of these embroidered stories and the remarkable accomplishments of these women were celebrated.

Video credit: Enlighten Media

In 2024, the project will culminate in the showcasing of the group’s individual and collective designs to the public drawing on participants’ visits to exhibitions and galleries to develop their ideas on how to organise and exhibit their work. The work will be exhibited in venues such as Aston Hall and the Library of Birmingham.

The Impact

By blending heritage and other artforms, the women have been able to shine a light on their own stories as a minority within a minority in Birmingham. Their sessions together have built skills and confidence, broken isolation and connected Birmingham’s longer-established Bangladeshi community with newly arrived Bangladeshi-heritage migrants that came to the city in the run up to Brexit from across Europe. Exhibiting the work in mainstream locations will increase the presence of Muslim audiences in these spaces and provide rich opportunities for cross-community encounter.

Images credit: Salsabil Khalifa


Our Donors

This project was generously supported by: