Common Threads explores the ties that bind India and Africa through the material medium of cloth, from antiquity to the present. Cloth made in India has been sold across African markets for millennia, by Indian, African, and European traders. The history of this trade offers perspectives into the rich stories of bi-directorial migrations of peoples, across the Indian Ocean, the exchange of visual aesthetics, and the co-production of cultures in the two geographies. Common Threads uses photographs to tell the story of the creation of these textiles in India, which today is concentrated in the small town of Jetpur in the Rajkot district of Cujarat. It sheds light on the artists and the agencies in India that are involved in the design, production, and logistics of this enterprise. Most significantly, it highlights the role of African consumers in defining the evolution of these genres of fabric, and the centrality of people-to-people connections in sustaining the continued cosmopolitanism of these transoceanic connectivities.

Year of publication: 2020
Collection: African Studies Collection
Volume: 76

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Auteur
M. Venkatachalam, R. Modi, and J. Salazar
Kaft
Paperback
Uitgeverij
African Studies Centre Leiden