They and Their Children Are Slaves
Mother Told Me Stories
A kantha is an embroidered quilt made from scraps of cloth, intricately hand-stitched. Women in Bangladesh make kanthas for their families, to pass down and as a source of independent income.
The British Raj attempted to abolish the Indian cotton trade in 1876, and later tried to police what was allowed to be stitched into the layers of fabric. A native craft that was supressed under colonial rule becomes an integral production method in these images and the stories these women hold. This series traces the revival of the kantha in postcolonial India, handstitched through the eyes of 10 individual women from the tales written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Now these quilts become a collective emblem of togetherness as each character, in very different times, has immersed themselves physically into every drape and thread. These women are walking their own chosen paths in life yet share an invisible bond created through this everlasting running stitch.