Symposium: Stories of Cotton

As part of the Bagri-supported Cotton: labour, land and body, the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine will host the Stories of Cotton symposium, a series of talks to explore the themes of the exhibition.

Artists, designers and curators will talk about the colonial trade in cotton, spanning from the Caribbean to South Asia; the physical experience of weaving; and the role of the material in our future as the fashion industry strives to reduce its environmental impact. The event will be followed by a drinks reception for speakers and guests, and the talks will also be live-streamed online.


2pm Welcome:

Debika Ray, editor of Crafts, and Sumitra Upham, head of public programmes, Crafts Council

2.15pm From the Caribbean to Cottonopolis

Artist Michael McMillan and curator/academic Rose Sinclairdiscuss the colonial cotton trade between the Caribbean and Britain, and the legacy of the material in contemporary diasporic practices and culture. Chair: Dominique Heyse-Moore, senior curator, Tate Britain

3pm Khadi: Cotton, Colonialism and Resistance

Uthra Rajgopal, curator of the Crafts Council exhibition Cotton: Labour, Land and Body, speaks to artist Bharti Parmar about her work, Khadi, which explores the relationships forged by the cotton industry that have tied India and Lancashire together.

4pm Working and Weaving

Artists Brigid McLeer – an exhibitor in Cotton: Labour, Land and Body – and Hetain Patel explore how their practices engage with the impact of the textile and garment industry on bodies and labourers around the world. Chair: Debika Ray, Crafts editor

5pm Cotton, Fashion and the Future

Fashion designer Nicholas Daley and senior curator of African and African diaspora fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum Christine Checinska discuss the dominance of cotton in the fashion industry, cloth as a carrier of politics and cultural values, and the materials and production processes of the future. Chair: Dal Chodha, lecturer in fashion communication at Central Saint Martins

More information about the exhibition and the Craft Council here.

Image credits: Loom and work from Resistances by Raisa Kabir. Photo: Ben Deakin


Dec 02 2022


2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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Crafts Council
4a Pentonville Road, Angel, Islington, N1 9BY

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