Our first week – and into the second!

The first week at the Apna has been really eventful. Arry Nessa has done an incredible job organising and managing the project to this point – and now delivering workshops and sessions. In return she has been meeting lots of interesting and interested people; been excited and stimulated by people’s enthusiasm and ideas; and enjoyed the positive spirit that everyone has brought to the space. 

Today, for example, she helped Habiba Shenza deliver a busy taster session in mehndi (above). Then after a brief lunch break the first of the Apna Walks took a group of 15 ladies down to Victoria Park and back (starting gently!). Then Janina Cerbetowicz (below) joined her with some examples of her collection of South Asian textiles, including some extraordinary ‘War Rugs’ – from the Pakistan/Afghan border region, where motifs from today (cars, helicopters, grenades – see the examples below) are combined with traditional shapes and forms. An unsettling symbiosis of the old and the (unfortunately) contemporary. 

The Apna now looks beautiful; it;’s a calm and tranquil place to visit, and the experience of the first week has been that it also fulfils a need for the community…watch this space!