Travel back in time and immerse yourself in cultural wonders – where you can indulge in the sights, smells, sounds and stories of undiscovered lands. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a curious adventurer, AKF’s Silk Road Bazaar is a must-visit market that promises unique and authentic crafts, textiles and foods from countries along the historic Silk Road trading route.
In the heart of London, from 23-25 June, learn about artisanal crafts from across the Middle East, South and Central Asia and China, and purchase an array of unique products including Afghan rugs and jewellery, intricate Chinese crafts, Grade A organic saffron from Iran, Pakistani clothing and homeware, Egyptian leather accessories, Palestinian inspired baked treats and much more. Through your purchases, you can support artisans from a number of countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, and China. Food and drink from countries across Eurasia will also be available.
Friday 23 June: 12:00–20:00
Saturday 24 June: 11:00–18:00
Sunday 25 June: 11:00–18:00
But artisanal products are only part of the experience…get ready for a number of musical performances, workshops and demonstrations to deepen your experience of the Silk Road, enrich your journey and ignite creativity. The programme is as follows:
- Friday 23 June at 18:00: Want to learn the intricacies of Chinese bamboo weaving patterns? Sign up with Yi Crafts to weave your very own unique Chinese baskets
- Saturday 24 June at 11:30: Sign up to try your hand at creating beautiful, traditional Chinese lanterns with Yi Crafts. Leave with a lantern that’s a stunning symbol of vitality, social status and good luck for the year ahead!
- Saturday 24 June at 14:00: Singer Yijia Tu will be performing captivating, ancient East Asian music, drawing on her breathtaking throat singing, Chinese opera and traditional folk styles
- Sunday 25 June at 13:00 and 16:00: Mystic Sufi devotional singers Chand Ali Khan Qawwal will be performing mesmerising melodies
- Throughout the weekend: You can sit back and enjoy a digital version of ‘The Silk Road: A Living History’ exhibition by photographer Christopher Wilton-Steer
As part of its economic inclusion and development work, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) supports numerous artisans in countries along the Silk Road to develop their businesses, sustain livelihoods, create new jobs, and preserve cultural heritage. The Silk Road Bazaar aims to emulate this practise in London, to not only support local artisans but to also bring attention to the plurality of artisanal heritage found in countries along the Silk Road.
The bazaar forms part of the weekly Canopy Market, near Granary Square in London’s King’s Cross. Canopy Market brings together fresh produce, artisan food, designer-makers and artists alongside street food, craft drinks and music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Attar Apothecary: Grade A, organic, single farmer Saffron from Iran
- Barakah Base: Classic artifacts, traditional clothing and accessories immersed in history and story
- Ishkar: Handcrafted jewellery, homeware, and fashions regions affected by conflict or political turbulence
- Ishq: Unique, sustainable and eco-friendly artefacts from the subcontinent including tapestries, vintage accessories and clothing
- Kiani Tea: Authentically sourced loose leaf teas directly from tea farms and their highly skilled tea makers
- Mishkā Handicrafts: Leather and jewellery handmade by local women in historic Cairo
- Nimuri: Ethically sourced fashion and homeware made by Pakistani artisans
- Saffron & Honey: East meets West Palestinian-inspired bakery full of Middle Eastern flavours. Their crowd pleaser…the knafeh cups!
- S jo Accessories: One-of-a-kind accessories, drawing inspiration from traditional textile craftsmanship and handcrafted by artisans, mainly women, from villages in Pakistan
- YICRAFTS: Traditional and authentic handicrafts and practises of China’s minority ethnicities
“I love seeing my products alongside other vendors…it reminds people of the distance our products have travelled, the artisanal work and the hundreds of years of history behind them.”
Eleanor Khan, Founder and Director, Nimuri
Fabio Diu, Director of Canopy Market says: “The Silk Road Bazaar is one of our favourite events to host under the Canopy. Now in its third year, The Aga Khan Foundation has created a fantastically evocative event that brings together a wonderful range of unique artisanal products, art, craft, clothing, food and drink from across the Silk Road, together with live music and dance performances. The colours, smells and sounds give visitors a real sense of stepping into a secret Eastern bazaar in the middle of central London, bringing people together in a celebration of diversity and traditional craftsmanship.
The Silk Road Bazaar is the perfect place to be transported and to find something a little different, something handcrafted, with heritage and a story.”
“I hope that when visitors step into the bazaar, they feel transported to distant lands and are immersed in the history of the cultures that lie along this most celebrated of trade routes.”
Christopher Wilton-Steer, Head of Communication, AKF
Susan Al-Safadi, founder of Saffron & Honey says: “We like to think of ourselves as the home of knafeh innovation; from cupcakes to doughnuts, we have tried reinventing knafeh in more ways than one! But putting knafeh at the forefront of Saffron & Honey is really about highlighting Palestinian identity through food. We believe in giving back to the communities that birthed generations of Palestinians in the diaspora, whose traditions and culture without which we would not be here.”
In partnership with:
Aga Khan Foundation UK