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NEW EXHIBITION EXAMINING SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITIES WHO SETTLED IN THE UK

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A major touring exhibition, which is coming to Leicester next month, will tell the story of South Asian migration to the UK, marking 75th anniversary of Indian partition and 50th anniversary of expulsion from Uganda.

The exhibition titled ‘Where is Home?’, opens at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery on July 2.

Picture: artfund.org

It consists of a newly commissioned film that examines the experience of South Asian communities who settled in the UK, and in turn discusses how South Asian communities have shaped the country. It includes contributions from notable artists and curators Alnoor Mitha, Amani Mitha, Jai Chuhan, Jasmir Creed, Saima Rasheed and John Lyons, all of whom feature the themes of migration and belonging in their work.

Local community groups have also been contributors to the project, with first- and second-generation South Asian and British Asian people discussing what ‘home’ means to them, in the context of post-imperial Britain.

Personal objects donated to the project will feature in the exhibition, including a passport, prayer mat and rosary beads. Each item has been chosen to be something instantly recognisable to a South Asian visitor.

The exhibition has been curated by Alnoor Mitha, Research Fellow at Manchester School of Art

“Where is home? For many Asian communities, this is a simple question with a complicated answer,” she said.

“I was born in Uganda but have made my home here in the UK; my children were born and have always lived here but still face racism from those who do not see them as British. Through this exhibition we examine the idea of home, asking what it really means. We bring in the complex history of Britain and the South Asian diaspora, and hear the voices of artists and everyday South Asian people.”

In addition to the exhibition, a first-of-its-kind interactive online resource is available for people to learn more about the history of South Asian migration to the UK. Developed by Dr Vimal Patel, Senior Researcher and Lecturer in History at De Montfort University, the resource tells the story of global migration, from the abolishment of slavery and start of indentured South Asian labourers in the 1830s, through the major twentieth century milestones to the present day.

Where is Home? is produced by Inspirate, a Leicester-based arts organisation that has produced culturally dynamic arts experiences for over 500,000 across the UK.

“Our exhibition marks two major turning points in global history: the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, and the expulsion of South Asians from Uganda in 1972,” said Jiten Anand, Director of Inspirate.

“Both events caused thousands of people to settle in the UK, notably in Leicester, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Manchester and London – the cities in which we present Where is Home? We are seeking to unpick the impact of this migration, both on the people involved, the communities into which they settled, and on their children and grandchildren.”

Where is Home? is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Leicester City Council and supported by Manchester Metropolitan University.

The exhibition, which is free to enter, is coming to Leicester Museum and Art Gallery between July 2 and October 30.  

To find out more, visit: https://www.where-is-home.org/

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