© 2019 Najia Fatima

OUR TEXTILES AND PEOPLE

2017-  Collage (Paint and fabric on canvas)

The work highlights the exploitative nature of the various textile industries established across the landscape of the Indian Subcontinent. The collage depicts the scene from a treaty signed in 1857 that gave the East India Company the power to establish industries thus leading to a historic trade of textile between the Subcontinent and the Western world. In the contemporary world this relationship takes on the form of sweatshops.

The surroundings capture various events that took place over the course of the years which include war, famine and labour exploitation as a result of this trade. The background depicts the setting sun with grey clouds and drones, while the foreground represents the scene of the treaty and the ceremonial offering of a piece of cloth. I hand stamped and stitched the pieces of fabric on the canvas as a traditional method of South Asian textile-manufacturing and patterns such as Paisley and Ajrak which were traded off as a part of this exchange.