Completed: Marketing Director, Silk River
Walking, talking, making, this project had everything!
Silk River was the international development of a place-making model that Kinetika and Ali Pretty have been working on since 2012. Included in the UK/India 2017 cultural season curated by the British Council, it highlighted and explored the connections between the mighty rivers of the Thames and Hooghly, and the people that live there.
Weavers in a remote part of West Bengal dusted off their old looms and created a special high grade of hand woven silk for the project.
Craft traditions from India were fused with large scale batik and artisans were taught new skills to develop their practice. The folk tradition of Patachitra, where the artists sing a narrative that is visually captured in an accompanying scroll, inspired the designs painted on the silk. Stories from each place were captured in brightly coloured dye and revealed iconic landmarks and local characters.
The end result was a riot of colourful hand woven and hand painted silk, paraded on foot or by boat all the way from Kew Gardens to Southend in the UK and from Murshidabad to Kolkata in India.
My role as Marketing Director was to tell this very visual story via a bespoke project website and social media, and promote opportunities to get involved, including the promotion of the 2 walking festivals in the UK and India. As well as creating all the content and scheduling all social media, I managed the creation of the website framework and collated and uploaded the content, which meant I could be very responsive to any changes needed.
With a wide geographic spread and a large amount of key stakeholders in each country, the comms were challenging at times. So that the stakeholders were speaking about the project with one voice they were provided with a media pack containing logos/ logo use guide, project hashtag, project boilerplate description, photos for press and online use, example social media posts and regular press release updates.
I also built relationships with press local to Kinetika and further afield and, together with delivery partners, achieved 22 separate pieces of print coverage in the UK and 43 pieces of print coverage in India, reaching an estimated circulation of 13.3 million.
The project was a huge success and not only raised the profile of Kinetika on the international stage, but also created commercial interest to import the special grade of hand woven silk to the UK.
All 20 of the beautiful Silk River flags are now on tour and will be returning to India in Autumn 2018.