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South Asian Heritage Month
Festival 2022

at the Whitworth, Oxford Road

Manchester Museum is celebrating South Asian Heritage Month with an unmissable two-day festival featuring film, music, workshops and more.

The South Asian Heritage Month festival is taking place on 22-23 July at the Whitworth on Oxford Road, while Manchester Museum is closed for its £15million hello future transformation.

Have a look at the programme below and book via Eventbrite.

Friday 22 July, 6.30-8.30pm

The Whitworth, Oxford Road

Manchester Museum is excited to be hosting a private screening of The Singh Twins' film Jallianwala: Repression & Retribution, followed by an in conversation with the award winning artists and Professor Deana Heath, author of Colonial Terror: Torture and State Violence in Colonial India.

In this artist short film, The Singh Twins tell the story of the Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar Massacre of 1919 through a detailed exploration of their artwork Jallianwala:Repression and Retribution which places this episode of colonial violence in its historical context and shows how it not only became a turning point in India’s struggle for freedom from the British Raj but remains a controversial subject today. The Twins also offer insights into the inspiration and creative processes behind this artwork which is executed in the highly intricate, narrative and symbolic style for which they are known.

This artwork is currently on show at Firstsite gallery, Colchester as part of The Singh Twins: Slaves of Fashion exhibition which runs until 11 September 2022.

Produced by The Singh Twins in collaboration with Sikhlens (California USA)

© The Singh Twins: singhtwins.co.uk and Sikhlens: sikhlens.com

Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Saturday 23 July, 12-1pm

The Whitworth, Oxford Road

A tribute to, and celebration of Bengali folk music, that has shaped the cultural identity of Bengali communities both in South Asia and the diaspora, including the UK.

Especially in the North-West and among migrants from Bangladesh to the region from the 1950s onwards, who came to work in the textile mills and factories in significant numbers, music provided vital sustenance and cultural bonding, and strength to survive in an alien environment.

Research by Anindita Ghosh, School of Arts Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, has established critical links between folk music and coping strategies in the studying of displacement and urbanisation in Bengal, and is currently extending the framework of her study to more recent contexts.

In a series of musical and dance performances by Krishno-Chura , embedded in narration and contextualisation, this one hour event will provide a rich showcase of Bengali musical traditions that are still critical in shaping Bangladeshi heritage in the region and the wider world. There will be an additional screening of a short film, called Our Songs, featuring an intergenerational dialogue on Bangla folk music.

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Krishno-Chura is a Manchester based Bangali cultural organisation formed by British Bangladeshis in 2015 with the aim to perform, present and expand Bengali music, poetry, literature, dance and drama in the UK. The organisation works independently and also in collaboration with other Bengali cultural groups, mainstream British organisations and the Bangladeshi diplomatic mission as a source of research and information for Bengali culture. From 2020 the group has been hosting topical literary seminars and publishing an annual bilingual literary magazine. The literary magazine consists of writings and art submitted from different corners of the world.

Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Saturday 23 July, 2-3pm 

The Whitworth, Oxford Road

Meet some of the team behind the Manchester Museum’s ground-breaking South Asia Gallery, which will open to the public in 2023. This panel discussion led by South Asia Gallery Curator, Nusrat Ahmed, will give an insight into the gallery, its development, vision and goals. This is the first UK gallery of its size to be community co-curated. This discussion will be a unique opportunity to find out more about the process, with panel members sharing their experiences of co-curation, good practice and learning.

Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Saturday 23 July, 12-2pm 

The Whitworth, Oxford Road

This is a two-hour session with tutor Anita Sethi, award-winning author of I Belong Here: a Journey Along the Backbone of Britain. We'll explore themes of place, nature, journeying - both geographical and emotional journeys - and how writing can bring a sense of belonging. This workshop is filled with practical tools and tips, in which you have time and space to work on writing exercises and share and develop your voice.

About Anita Sethi

 

Anita Sethi was born in Manchester, UK and is the author of I Belong Here: a Journey Along the Backbone of Britain (Bloomsbury, 2021), which won the Books Are My Bag Readers Award and was nominated for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing, Great Outdoors Award and Portico Prize. She is also published in the anthologies Women on Nature, The Wild Isles, Seasons, Common People, Seaside Special: Postcards from the Edge, We Mark Your Memory, Solstice Shorts among others. She has written for the Guardian and Observer, the i paper, Independent, Sunday Times, BBC Wildlife, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, New Statesman, Granta, Times Literary Supplement and BBC Travel and appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, the World Service, and ABC Australia. She is Writer-in-Residence at Manchester Museum.

anitasethi.com / @anitasethi / i-belong-here.com

Find out more and book via Eventbrite

Saturday 23 July, various times throughout the day

The Whitworth, Oxford Road

Join the young people of OSCH (Our Shared Cultural Heritage) for a poetry workshop, hosted by Maya Chowdhury, exploring taboos and untouched topics within South Asian culture and community. This workshop will provide a safe space to discuss and creatively respond to prompts such as mental health, sex, periods and more.

Find out more and book via Eventbrite (multiple times available)

 
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About South Asian Heritage Month

South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) is an annual awareness month.

SAHM begins on 18 July, when the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent, and ends on 17 August, when the Radcliffe Line was published in 1947, finally setting out the border between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The start and end dates show just how much of an influence Britain has had on South Asia as a whole over the last few centuries. The dates coincide to a large extent with the South Asian month of Saravan/Sawan, which is the main monsoon month when the region's habitat undergoes renewal. Having it take place across the two Western calendar months of July and August is entirely apt, as it respects the traditions of the South Asian calendars. This period also includes several independence days connected to South Asian countries.

SAHM aims to transform how people connect with South Asian culture and identity in three simple ways:

  • Celebration of arts, culture and heritage

  • Commemoration of South Asian history

  • Education about South Asian-ness, both past and present

South Asian Heritage Month

 
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South Asia Gallery

A Partnership Gallery with the British Museum

Manchester Museum is currently closed to the public while we complete our £15 million hello future project which will transform and develop the museum becoming more inclusive, imaginative and caring to the diverse communities it serves.

Our hello future transformation includes a South Asia Gallery, which will present a dynamic, contemporary take on South Asian and British Asian culture. It is a multilingual gallery that brings world-class material from the British Museum to Manchester, displayed alongside the best of the museum’s South Asian collections, those of our partners across the city, as well as deeply personal objects. 

 

It is the UK’s first permanent gallery to celebrate the stories of South Asian diaspora and it represents co-curation on an epic scale. People are at the heart of all our work, and collaboration and sharing multiple perspectives has driven the production of this space. 30 people, none of them museum and gallery professionals, most of South Asian heritage, have contributed to the development of the South Asia Gallery. Known as the ‘Collective,’ they are an inspirational group of educators, community leaders, artists, historians, journalists, scientists, musicians, and students.

 

The gallery is divided into anthologies, or themes, with much of the content drawing on the Collective members’ lived experience and heritage. They have centred their storytelling and the development of the gallery around their experiences – personally and professionally – as well as their families’ journeys, alongside their own research and interests. This personalised approach humanises the gallery, telling stories about real people and their objects.

There is also space at the heart of the gallery for intimate performances, immersive experiences and other activities, to bring people together and celebrate South Asian heritage. It will continue to be shaped by ideas and contributions from South Asian diaspora communities and programmed in collaboration with both local and international artists and performers.

When we reopen in February 2023, we look forward to welcoming you to a bigger, more inclusive and more wondrous museum.

Find out more about hello future on our website.