School of Art academic curates national exhibition exploring South Asian migration
12 August 2022
Alnoor Mitha one of six artists featured in touring exhibition opening at the Whitworth
A national touring exhibition telling the story of South Asian migration to the UK has been curated by a Manchester School of Art academic.
Alnoor Mitha, Senior Research Fellow (Asian Cultures) at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University has curated Where Is Home? and is one of six artists featured in the exhibition sharing his experience of migration, identity, and intergenerational issues.
The touring exhibition will go on display at the Whitworth, Manchester today (August 12) and coincides with the 75th anniversary of Indian partition and the 50th anniversary of expulsion from Uganda - two globally significant events that have helped to shape modern Britain.
Artists and curators have shared their personal experience of migration in a new film in the exhibition, alongside a presentation of donated personal objects, and an interactive digital timeline.
The exhibition is particularly personal for Mitha, who himself arrived in the UK during 1972. He talks in the film with his daughter Amani Mitha about migration, identity, how it has affected them, and intergenerational issues.
Mitha said: “Where Is Home? is a timely exhibition that responds to the 75th anniversary of the Indian partition and the creation of Pakistan. Uniquely, it’s also the 50th anniversary of the Ugandan Asians who were expelled from the country under the regime of dictator - General Idi Amin.
“I was part of the Asian community who arrived in England during 1972, I have vivid memories of not only seeing the dictator but also fleeing Uganda with my family. We had British protected passport as Uganda was part of the British colony. My first impression of landing in England was how cold it was!”
The exhibition features a newly commissioned film that examines the experience of South Asian communities who settled in the UK and discusses how they have helped shaped the country.
The film features contributions from other prominent artists and curators whose work explored the themes of migration and belonging including Mitha, his daughter Amani Mitha, Jai Chuhan, Jasmir Creed, Saima Rasheed, and John Lyons.
Local community groups have contributed 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 have been donated to the project and will be on display in the exhibition including a passport, prayer mat, and rosary beads, which were all chosen to be instantly recognisable to a South Asian audience.
Alongside the exhibition, a first of its kind interactive online resource has been created which catalogues cultural events from the 1850s to present day charting the history of South Asian migration to the UK.
Where Is Home? is produced by Inspirate, a Leicester-based arts organisation, and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, Leicester City Council.
Further presentations of the exhibition are on display at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery (until October 30), Wolverhampton Art Gallery (until August 28), Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (until August 22) and the exhibition will open at the Migration Museum, London on October 22.