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It was a great pleasure that New Hope Global welcome it's beneficiaries, stakeholders, funders and partners to an exhibition on Wednesday 6th March 24 at #AstonVilla Football Club. The Exhibition was to celebrate the creativity and artistic skills of our amazing and talented women in our community ‘Our Stories through Nakshi Kantha’ embroidery.

The project tells the stories of women's journeys from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India to Birmingham, capturing the stories through drama, sketching and through Nakshi Kantha embroidery. Nakshi Kantha is a centuries old embroidery heritage art form notable to Bangladesh and West Bengal.

Over 12 months, 70 women from New Hope Global worked together with locally based artists Abeeda Begum, Fateha Begum and Haseebah Ali who shared their language and heritage, allowing women to engage in creative opportunities to use the artistic pattern and stitching to tell stories of migration.

Women also visited several other exhibitions and arts projects to build their confidence and Capacity.  These included Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham Museum, Aston Hall, Cambridge Eco Mosque and part of the WasWasa Project by Mohammed from Soul City Arts, showcased the work in Hippodrome Theatre.

Nakshi Kantha is not merely a craft but a reflection of our cultural heritage, passed down through generations with love and care, capturing the wonderful memories of time spent in their country and in Birmingham. The project enabled women to build confidence, reduced isolation, helped to socialise and make lifelong friends as well as developing language and digital skills. Using drama to express their experience, storyboarding and sketching their designs, women have stitched their migration stories into a book, saree, blouse, frames, blankets, and air mail letters.

Beautiful embroidery was showcased in the exhibition, each stitched artwork carried with it a story, a piece of memory, and a sense of identity. It tells you a personal story of the journey of migration to Birmingham, the courage, perseverance, dreams and hopes woven into every stitch, which highlighted the countless hours of dedication and skill poured into every intricate detail of these art pieces.  There were number of encounter workshops for people to engage in and experience a taster of embroidery, henna and yoga.

It showcased the achievements of women who have not only mastered the art of Nakshi Kantha but have also bravely confronted and overcome the challenges of mental health. Their journey is a testament to the power of art as a therapeutic tool, as a means of self-expression, and as a pathway to healing.


Our gratitude to everyone who have been a part of this journey, Amal Foundation, Islamic Relief, Birmingham city Council for funding this project, Aston Villa for hosting us, our partners, stakeholders, our artists, Fateha Begum, Haseebah Ali and Abeeda Begum, the fabulous team of New Hope Global, volunteers, last but certainly not least the wonderful beneficiaries who have been part of the journey. 

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