'There is more at stake than just 3 metres of cloth'

‘There is more at stake than just 3 metres of cloth’

“There is More at Stake Than Just 3 Metres of Cloth”

The Politics of Cloth collaboration – Raju Rage and Raisa Kabir Aug-Sept 2015


A cloth to be worn as a turban, conceptually conceived by Raju Rage, was collaborativly designed and hand woven by Raisa Kabir. Exemplifying the migrations of South Asians from North India/Panjab to East Africa to Britain, and the symbolism encoded within the turban. It signified a visual recording of this complex migration history, the colours which begin brightly coloured as worn in India, are symbolic of the transition of culture, as they migrated again and again, in order to survive the racism, and violences of living in the Diaspora, the colours sobering until the cloth is rendered plain black. The final woven turban was then used in a performative piece by Raju Rage who wore the cloth on their non binary body, reiterating the struggles of having to define gender, culture, race, ethnicity and sexuality in the Diaspora.


The photographs capture parts of the performance where archival images of Sikh migration were projected on the artists diasporic gendered and racialised body.  The aim was to see if new narratives and meanings to historical heritage can be created by juxtaposing a disaporic non conforming body next to ‘captured’ archival images.


Stuart Hall Library Clothes, Cloth & Culture Group 19 Feb 2015

The politics of cloth as a tool of resistance, and the queer brown body.
Two young artists, Raisa Kabir and Raju Rage, use their art/textile practice to address the violences of colonialism, gendered South Asian queer identity, and the meanings of cotton cloth on the brown queer body. They use cloth as a decolonising tool of resistance and metaphor. Sociologist Nirmal Puwar will respond to their presentations.

Raisa Kabir is multi-disciplinary artist, weaver and writer, who uses contemporary textiles, sound and photography to interrogate, and question concepts around the politics of dress in connection to space, gender, race, and sexuality.