For me, #Unstitched is an intimate reminder. Wrapping us closely, the sari holds the stories of our bodies. What do we carry, hide, fold into ourselves? And what happens when it is WE who are unstitched, not held together, when we fall apart? Can we hold these stories the way a sari drapes, forgiving and lovingly holding each and every body the way a sari is unconditional in its holding.
#Unstitched The Sari Project has its own journey, one that will unfold in its own way. Some participants will engage with the sari as a material object, a garment, a craft. For some, the sari will be an entry point, into personal memory, sweetness, celebration, challenges, growth. For some, the sari suggests the politics of colonialism, migration, racism, resistance.
#Unstitched opens a conversation about the sari beyond its role as something to just wear, placing it in the folds of shared experience. The project offers new ways of thinking about the sari, of what we wear, how we wear it and why we wear it.
#Unstitched is a project that crosses many boundaries: nation, culture, class, caste, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, age, language, race, family. And more. In this crossing, the project neither erases these boundaries, nor is determined by them. It seeks to explore a different kind of belonging, and relationship, one that exists in spite of these barriers to create what Jaquie Alexander calls ‘genealogies of critical consciousness’, through which we become visible to one another and resist the invisibility of our lives. It is an invitation of connection, transformation, healing.
A special thank you to two very good friends - Vivek Shraya and Gurbir Singh Jolly - for documenting the evening through the photographs below. Also a very special thank you to Narendra Pachkhédé for his guest talk at the launch. And a big hug to my partner Karishma Kripalani, my sister Meha Sethi, my parents Bali and Rupa Sethi and wonderful friends Rachna Contractor and Andil Gosine who moderated the evening talks.