Weaving Local Voices: Sustainability, Survival and Economies of Labour
by Raisa Kabir in collaboration with Stitches in Time
presented as part of EcoFutures Festival
Various Times @ Stitches in Time & The Art Pavilion
Four workshop sessions with Stitches in Time with their Bangladeshi and Muslim women’s group, led by artist Raisa Kabir.
These workshops will explore weaving as a healing community practice and aim to collate ways of embodied knowing through craft making. Woven textiles are coded and gendered archives containing their own languages, knowledges and histories, which are often dismissed in Western- and masculine-centred cultural canons. In response to the ways globalised labour is exploited in the textile industry, these sessions will compound textile craft labour as paths towards collective economies of sustainable survival. Nurturing craft as political reclamation, – weaving as resistance, weaving as community, weaving as healing – creates space for sharing collective histories and narratives of local and global resistance in ‘gendered’ textile archives.
This collective weaving will take place in the gallery as a performative disruptive practice which codes the stories of women’s groups into tapestry to produce a new local archive mapping collective survival and resistance. Using recycled materials, we will stitch text in preferred languages into strips of weft fabric chosen or written by participants. These will then be woven together using back strap looms tensioned onto the structural indoor trees. A sound audio archive piece, using recorded contributions in different languages from the women participants, will be curated alongside the woven tapestry.
If you identify as Bangladeshi and female and would like to attend the workshop, please get in touch by 12 March.
Raisa Kabir is an interdisciplinary artist who utilises woven text/textiles, sound, video and performance to translate and visualise concepts concerning the politics of cloth, labour and embodied geographies. Addressing cultural anxieties surrounding nationhood, textile identities and the cultivation of borders, she examines the encoded violence in histories of labour in globalised neo-colonial textile production. Her (un)weaving performances comment on power, production, disability and the body as a living archive of collective trauma. She has participated in residencies and exhibited work at The Whitworth, The Tetley, Raven Row, Textile Arts Center NYC, and CCCD NC.
Stitches in Time is a participatory arts and education charity with a social enterprise arm based in Tower Hamlets. Beginning in 1993, this small experiment to see if sewing could start conversations between strangers turned into our giant founding project, the creation of 50 tapestries celebrating the area’s rich cultural heritage and made by over 3,000 local people.
25 years later, and now engaging with over 2,000 people per year, the support we offer is much more than just sewing. It starts with offering a safe, supportive space to develop and share a creative skill, and expands to support the ranging needs and aspirations of our beneficiaries. Our creative projects are co-designed with users in response to their needs, to empower individuals and build strong, inclusive and cohesive communities.
General info: firstname.lastname@example.org