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    Everything that is going on at THREADS is collected here. Come back often, we’re updating our blog with events, screenings, news, and more

Posted by:  Cathy and Len

Celebrate International Women’s Day!

Surayia and women of "Arshi."  Photo copyright by Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Surayia and women of “Arshi.” Photo copyright by Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Inspiration. Determination. Liberation.

March 8th is international women’s day. To celebrate with us today, pass along the story of Surayia and women of Bangladesh by liking Threads on Facebook or sharing the Threads website with friends and colleagues.

There are so many incredible stories to share.  Who inspires you?
Please tell us about Women of Inspiration around the world.

"Rain Making Ladies."  Surayia Rahman design, used with permission of the owner.  Photo copyright Anil Advani andKkantha Productions LLC.

“Rain Making Ladies.” Surayia Rahman design, used with permission of the owner. Photo copyright Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Guest post by:  Donna Spisso

Donna and Surayia.  Photo used with permission.

Donna and Surayia. Photo used with permission.

My husband and I traveled to Dhaka to attend a wedding. I knew I would not miss the opportunity to visit Surayia Rahman, with whom I had the pleasure to know while I lived and worked in Dhaka as a teacher at the American International School 1994-2001. In those days, Surayia’s work was sold through expatriate volunteers. One of the elementary teachers, Phyllis, made part of her house available for shoppers two afternoons a week. When Phyllis asked if I would like to volunteer, I agreed and thus began a beautiful friendship that I treasure to this day.

I thoroughly enjoyed showcasing the work and learning about Surayia’s art. Helping with the exhibitions, held biannually, was also a lot of fun. Surayia and the women she had trained to embroider would demonstrate the techniques, and people loved meeting and chatting with the artist, who was always gracious, full of anecdotes and passion about her work. Eventually, I took over the responsibility of insuring that Surayia’s art would continue to have a market. Since she retired, she turned her designs over to the Salesian Sisters. I visited the Salesian convent where I bought a tapestry for a wedding present, happy to see that the quality was very much the same as I remembered. Then I made my way to Surayia’s home and spent a lovely hour with her, reminiscing about old times.
Displaying completed artwork based on Surayia's designs at the Salesian convent.  Photo used with permission.

Displaying completed artwork based on Surayia’s designs at the Salesian convent. Photo used with permission.

Posted by:  Len

With all best wishes for a happy and peaceful 2014, here is a link to our latest newsletter.  There is a lot going on with Threads as we come to the end of a very productive 2013.

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project.  We rely completely on your support to tell the inspiring story of Surayia and the women she worked with.  We are very grateful for the assistance!

Alpona, Surayia Rahman design. Photo copyright Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Alpona, Surayia Rahman design. Photo copyright Anil Advani and Kantha Productions LLC.

Posted by: Len

I have just finished setting up a YouTube channel for Threads.   You can find the film trailer here.  Please watch and give us a “Like.”  I will start displaying the statistics soon.

The material that we post on YouTube will always be the same as that posted on Vimeo.  Adding YouTube gives our viewers an additional way to find us!  Enjoy.

 

 

Posted by:  Cathy and Len

The Textile Museum of Canada  in Toronto has an exhibition, “Telling Stories,” that includes one of Surayia’s works, Georgian Times.  Curated by Roxanne Shaughnessy, the exhibition will run until mid-April, 2014, so please go see it if you are in the area.  You can view an image of Georgian Times from the Textile Museum’s collection at this link.

Here’s the description from the Museum’s website:

“The art of storytelling extends beyond the written word, encompassing a myriad of forms. Whether through the illustration of a myth or legend, or the recitation of an epic poem or song, cultures have devised inventive and elaborate methods of recording and depicting their rich histories through the centuries. In this exhibition of artifacts from the permanent collection of the Textile Museum of Canada, textiles perform as instruments of communication, offering narratives that unfold in the making and materiality of each textile. …. Telling Stories presents extraordinary materials of everyday lives that reflect the inordinate richness of cultural histories as well as the human impulse to capture real and imagined experiences.”

Thank you, Roxanne, for a beautiful and timely exhibition.

 

 

Posted by: Len

Thanks to our friend Shams for calling this article about our co-producer Catherine Masud to our attention.  It is from the English Language Dhaka Daily Star.  It’s a great piece about a truly talented and courageous person.  Thank you, Catherine, for everything that you do.

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