Reclaiming & Celebrating My Indigenous Identity: How “Nokshi Kantha” Has Healed Bengali People for Centuries Through Trans-generational Resilience 2020

Reclaiming & Celebrating My Indigenous Identity: How “Nokshi Kantha” Has Healed Bengali People for Centuries Through Trans-generational Resilience with Farhana Sobhan (Shama), MA
As an immigrant who acculturated to the US at 16, much of my indigenous identity had been lost. I am inspired to reclaim and celebrate my own indigenous identity as a Bangladeshi/Bengali woman. It’s important for me to show that Bangladesh is more than just flooding, poverty, and Muslim extremism. Because to me, Bangladesh is a place of art, culture, rich traditions that has been healing some of the most marginalized people in the world.

I am going to share an ancient art form called “Nokshi Kantha” (an embroidered quilt), and how is has healed Bengali people for centuries. Traditionally, Nokshi Kanthas has been made from recycled sharis worn by our mothers and grandmothers, but the art form is currently depicted in all types of clothing, household decorations, etc. and not limited to Kanthas anymore. This has allowed Bangladeshi people, specially women, to not only tell their stories through this art form, but also heal themselves, their communities, as well as financially support them through selling their embroidered art-work.

This workshop is intended for anyone interested in integrating expressive arts in their work with clients, or their own arts/healing practices. We will explore specific metaphors, symbols, and motifs that commonly appear in Nokshi Kanthas that tells stories. We will sing along/hum to traditional Bengali folk music, share our own stories of resilience, do hair-braiding, etc. to inspire and create a collaborative environment reminiscent of rural villages in Bangladesh. Traditionally in the Nokshi Kantha making process, artists collaborate on various steps of the process, defying the Western concept of individual ownership of artwork. Following collaborative cultural traditions, participants will be invited to co-create a Nokski Kantha together through drawing, embroidering, dancing, singing, humming, moving, and any other expressive way participants feel inspired to.

Queen Track

Saturday, March 28, 2020

2:15 – 6PM

orange splash

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