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In the 70th anniversary year of Partition and Indian Independence, explore the history of Britain’s South Asian population with our latest Britain on Film programme weaving together archive footage from across the UK throughout the 20th century and touching on disparate communities originally from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
See an unusually early study of London’s multiculturalism in 1924, as well as a festival at Britain’s first mosque and Indian regiments being mobilised for the Second World War. Visit 1959 Indian Independence celebrations in Leicester, a beautiful Sikh wedding, and Asian fashion and jewellery workshops, with a discussion of the changing role of traditional dress. Learn about the hostility faced by Bangladeshi migrants to ‘70s East End and the heartbreak of family estrangements due to immigration policies. Watch as second generation youth in the 1980s explore the roots of their culture in music and dance, alongside deeper questions of what it means to be a young British Asian.
Showing life before and after British rule in South Asia, this compelling collection illustrates how the relationship between Britain and the region was made inextricable by Empire; its dissolution, and often painful legacy – and ultimately, how the South Asian diaspora in the United Kingdom has so gloriously and meaningfully enriched life in our country.