The Fading Whir Of The Looms – a photoessay

As the saying goes, “Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us.”

One of the exemplary traditional artworks of the country, the Assam silk is one of its own kind of handloom culture that mesmerises various people across the globe. This picturesque state is a haven for silk fabrics ranging from the golden Muga to the ivory white ‘Pat’ and the light beige ‘Eri’ or ‘Endi’ silks. Out of which, Muga & Eri, also known as Ahimsa Silk are native only to Assam. Amid the elegance and beauty of the fabric, what is often neglected is the struggle that these weavers go through in the entire process. What we see is only stacks of silk fabric arranged in the stores but not ‘behind the scenes’ lives exhausted in the art — that of the weavers and the rarely seen silkworms.

The project “Fading Whir of the Looms” details the journey of a silkworm from its existence to its transformation into fabric in his project.

The true epitome of hardwork and dedication deserves admiration in a right way. With every passing day, the new generation steps back from the dying art but the rhythmic sounds made by the looms and the flying shuttles. These sounds echo through numerous tiny streets of villages at the same volume every time the photographer walked through.

This work has been funded by India Photo Archive foundation under The Neel Dongre Awards/Grants For Excellence In Photography and anexhibition is scheduled to be inaugurated on April 21 at India International Centre, New Delhi.


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Mrigank Kulshrestha Written by:

Mrigank studied photography from Jamia Millia Islamia after being under the aegis of the veteran photographer, Mr.O.P.Sharma at Triveni Kala Sangam. He has been working on different beats across various states, namely Assam and Meghalaya for most of the last year. Mrigank has received Neel Dongre Grant from India Photo Archive foundation for his work on Silk weavers in Assam. Excerpts of his work from the project "Fresh from the shores" has been exhibited at All India Contemporary Art Exhibition. His broad interests are issues highlighting social stigma and human behavior at a micro level.

One Comment

  1. Mamta Varma from Bhairvis Chikan Lucknow
    April 16, 2017

    I deeply appreciate what you have shared through your photographs from the far corner of our country.Thanks a lot for choosing the hand-woven project.

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