Sethi Pankaja is a designer turned wandering researcher by passion. Her textile journey began in the pursuit of exploring weaves and the vivid material cultures. The language beyond the visual patterns stimulated her to experiment textile materials with weavers and Adivasi in Odisha. Connecting threads with her native state, whilst working with Dongria Kondh and Santhal Adivasi women, she experienced the deeper meaning of humans’ relation with the nature, how the visual language of material culture narrates intangible reflection of nature.
Pankaja Sethi studied textile designing from National Institute of Fashion and Technology, New Delhi in 2001. As a self taught anthropologist Pankaja continued her research work and studied Social Anthropology from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 2009-10 to pursue her interest. She has travelled to remote villages in Odisha, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Bastar and Indonesia and worked extensively on textiles. On basis of self generated sustainable projects for weavers she was selected for ‘Asian Feminisms and Transnational Activism’ 2012 – the first ‘Ewha Global Empowerment Program’ at Ewha Womans University, Seoul among the twenty two feminist leaders from Asia. Her credential includes Small Study Grant from Nehru Trust for Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2009-10) on Kotpad textiles, Sir Doraji Tata Fellowship- National Folklore Support Centre on Dongria Kondh Textiles and paintings 2012-13.