ABOUT

This project is intended to produce a long-term, sustainable network between India and Indian diasporic communities in the UK. This will include scholars, arts practitioners, community activists, practitioners from the humanities and the social sciences as well as partners and stakeholders in education. It will also engage with the general public. The network aims to impact on professional practices and interactions across these fields, and to affect public understanding of how Indian cultural heritage is represented and perceived through performance in both domains. The network will link these diverse organistions creating channels of communication between them, physically through visits to the respective sites, and virtually through online platforms and on social media, creating links across national borders to ascertain common concerns, whilst remaining mindful of the specific contexts in which they arise.

 

In Hyderabad, at the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, staff and students come from all over the sub-continent forming their own local Diaspora within India. Students pursue careers in the film industry, theatre, television and journalism as performers, directors, designers and writers, placing them at the forefront of public engagement. The workshops will have a direct impact on this next generation of artists as they negotiate their own cultural heritage in the context of Indian modernity and its global representation. Scholars and performance practitioners from across the sub-continent will be invited to the seminar in Hyderabad. Anuradha Kapur is recognised as one of the leading scholars and directors both within India and internationally. It is expected that papers from the symposium will be published on the project website and the attendance of high-profile academics and practitioners from India and the UK will attract interest in the local press and nationally. This will open up these issues to the wider public and will be key to discussions about the future of the network. The aim will be to widen the reach of the network to encompass a broad base of academics and performance practitioners across the subcontinent, to increase public engagement and to impact on policymakers.  Throughout, we will aim to have a truly interactive reporting and documentation of the workshops and symposia, which will be available through social media and our established websites.

 

In London, working with professional artists, we will engage with arts and community organisations and those working in education concerned with decolonising curricula. We will conduct a series of extended workshops with local elderly residents and their families drawing out their perceptions of their Indian Cultural heritage, and how these have changed over time. Therefore the impact of the project will reach community leaders and stakeholders as well as educational experts and arts professionals. The organisations we have chosen as part of the network combine long histories of working with local residents with transnational links and reputations. In this way, we will produce community-based knowledge that will also allow us to influence and develop policy-making at local level and nationally; this will be shared with our partners in Hyderabad. The symposium, performance presentations and pop-up exhibition at Tara Arts will open up the issue of cultural representation between India and the UK to the wider academic community, local councilors and the general public.