The New Silk Road project
Hundreds of years ago, ancient trade routes between Western China and Europe created powerful images in British minds of silks, spices and stories, inventions, fabled personae and distant fretwork of lateral overland arteries that became known as the Silk Road. Today, many of the countries of Central and South Asia have become obscure or misunderstood. The British Council’s campaign, The New Silk Road, aims to use the arts traditions of Central and South Asia to make these estranged places vivid again, and to address negative stereotypes with a creative energy that is independent of politics.
Over the past two years the British Council’s Architecture, Design, Fashion department has developed a programme of events in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The New Silk Road campaign has focused on combining the unique craft skills from this region with the contemporary visual language of designers from the UK to forge links between practitioners in the UK and Central and South Asia and to sustain these unique skills whilst opening up new opportunities for collaboration.