Where is Home Exhibition at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

Where is Home Exhibition at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery


Posted 2022-06-24 by dpmfollow

Sat 02 Jul 2022 - Sun 30 Oct 2022

Where is Home? Exhibition at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

People visiting a new exhibition in local galleries and online will be asked the question Where is Home? Exploring the journey made by South Asian migrants to the UK and focussing on the 75th anniversary of the partition of India and the 50th anniversary of the South Asian expulsion from Uganda, the exhibition encourages us to consider how history impacts on the lives of people, forcing them to leave their homes.

Opening at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery on July 2, Where is Home? tours to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, mac Birmingham, Manchester's Whitworth Gallery and the Migration Museum in London.

The exhibition, which features film and everyday objects loaned or donated by people who came to Britain from India and Uganda, is produced by Inspirate. The Leicester-based arts organisation is focussing on the two anniversaries to delve deeper into both historic events and their effects on people's lives.

Jiten Anand, director of Inspirate, producers of the exhibition, explains: "Partition and the Asian Ugandan expulsion were the biggest mass migration movements of people in history and we wanted to take a step back and ask where did this journey actually begin? It's colonial history, a lot of this happened off the back of the abolition of slavery and indentured labour."

And he adds: "The reason why we wanted to produce this project was to share this story to current generations, to second or third generation South Asian young people, to think about where they have come from. And it's trying to educate people about mass migration of all people – especially when we are living at a time where migration is looked down upon. If you look around the world at the refugee crisis, this is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on why society is the way it is today."

Where is Home? features a film in which artists share their experiences of migration. Exhibition curator Alnoor Mitha, senior research fellow at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, explains: "We wanted to create a narrative, a different kind of platform, very much from an artist perspective so it's coming from a lived experience. I was born and brought up in Uganda and had to leave in 1972 because of Idi Amin's expulsion of South Asians so there is a conversation between me and my daughter Amani Mitha, who is also a curator."

Alnoor says: "Then there is Jai Chuhan who was born in India and has been living in England a very long time and her daughter Jasmir Creed who was born and brought up here. Saima Rasheed is originally from Pakistan but she now lives in Greater Manchester and John Lyons is originally from Trinidad and he came to study at Goldsmiths and has now had exhibitions all over the country including the Tate. All these films are giving a personal narrative on what happened. And they raise the question of identity which I think is a central question in terms of all the different individuals talking about themselves."

The interviews sit alongside archive footage to give the artists' stories context. There are also personal objects on display including saris worn in Uganda and brought to the UK in luggage, British passports issued upon naturalisation and prayer mats and beads carried across oceans. "These objects are very much about what people have in their houses all the time," says Alnoor. "They are often the everyday objects people bring with them when they migrate. And this notion of migration is not necessarily based just around South Asian people. At the moment if you look at the war in Ukraine and the refugee crisis and how British people are opening their doors, particularly to people from Ukraine, it's quite poignant timing."

Installations will also feature events with local artists and organisations including Sampad Arts in Birmingham, Black Country Touring and a Q&A with author Neema Shah in Wolverhampton, and a day of activities in London.

Where is Home? follows Inspirate's successful 400 Years - Britain and India exhibition online which was viewed by 300,000 people. And the website for Where is Home? will ensure people who cannot attend the exhibition can access its stories.

Developer Dr Vimal Patel, senior researcher and lecturer in History at De Montfort University in Leicester, says: "A timeline contextualises this mass movement of people from Uganda and also from India after partition so features granular details of events leading up to 1947 but also some of the major developments in the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries."

He adds: "That gives us a sense of why partition was both a momentous occasion but also in some ways it was a botched transfer of power as well because it led to so much violence and bloodshed. Other elements include interviews we've done with people of South Asian heritage, people with a Ugandan background and those with a Kashmiri background so it provides a broad sweep of history but also personal stories, so we get an insight into personal experiences of people with South Asian heritage living in Britain today."

And Vimal believes these stories have a resonance beyond their specific communities. "The British South Asian story is also Britain's story in a general sense because it's impacted the way that Britain has changed in the post-war years. Britain was transitioning from an imperial identity to a post-imperial identity and at the same time that coincided with rapid decolonisation. In order to understand British history we need to have an understanding of British South Asian history as well. And when you consider the objects of everyday life in the context of dramatic political events then that really hits home for the audience - this could be you, their experiences could be your experiences given different circumstances."

Where is Home? tours to Leicester Museum and Art Gallery between July 2-October 30, Wolverhampton Art Gallery between July 10-August 29, mac Birmingham between August 19-22, Whitworth Gallery in Manchester between August 12 and December and London's Migration Museum between October 22-23. See www.where-is-home.org for more information.

!date 02/07/2022 -- 30/10/2022
70704 - 2023-01-26 01:48:47


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