‘We have many stories to tell. This was a good opportunity to relive our childhoods, and to preserve something for our children.'
- authors & embroidery artists of Story-Threading
Story-Threading is a collection of ten folktales and childhood memories, narrated and stitched by the embroidery artists of the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre. Each story imparts a life lesson, whether social or personal, and represents a piece of their childhoods in Arakan.
In rural Arakan, Rohingya storytellers were familiar with many Middle Eastern kissa, Rakhine razawin, and Bengali futhi. Stories were passed down from generation to generation through oral storytelling, changing and taking on different influences with each generation’s retellings. Audiences may find some of the tales familiar, while the drawings and fultola (embroidery) artwork offer a refreshingly original rendition by Rohingya women artisans.
As the founding artist-in-residence of the RCMC, Saleha Akhter Urmi spent over a year working closely with the ten women of her embroidery group, helping them develop new skills, give free rein to their imaginations, and express themselves though art. Story-Threading is a capstone to her work at the CMC. These beautiful handstitched and hand-bound cloth books, created over one month, are their most ambitious project to date.