Photo exhibition to celebrate interwoven histories of Britain and India

Photo exhibition to celebrate interwoven histories of Britain and India

A new photographic exhibition aimed at telling near-forgotten stories about how the historic Indian presence in Britain has critically shaped the island nation is due to open in Scotland later this month.

At the Heart of the Nation: India in Britain will run from September 17 to October 1 at Mound Precinct on Princes Street in Edinburgh. From there the exhibition will travel to London at the start of next month and then Leeds.

Designed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence and the UK-India Year of Culture, At the Heart of the Nation celebrates largely unknown narratives through the medium of photography.

According to organisers, rather than focusing on “well-known accounts of post-independence India and the earlier period of the British Raj”, the exhibition will focus on “the ways in which Britain’s resident communities have, for centuries, played a crucial role in the formation of Britain.

“Highlighting these stories through a range of remarkable images, At the Heart of the Nation draws belated attention to the wide-ranging contributions Indians have long made to Britain’s cultural, economic, intellectual, political and social life.”

At the Heart of the Nation is based on two major Open University research projects, ‘Making Britain’ and ‘Beyond the Frame’. It’s being led by the Open University in collaboration with the Indian High Commission, the Nehru Centre, and the University of Exeter and has been researched and curated by Professor Susheila Nasta and Dr Maya Parmar from the Open University, along with Exeter’s Dr Florian Stadtler.

Professor Nasta said: “By touring this outdoor exhibition, we want to swivel the perspective and examine India’s role within Britain, rather than Britain’s well documented historical presence in India.”

The exhibition is open to all and free to enter.

Main image: Resident Indians helped to create diverse and mixed communities; here a group of children are playing together. (Photo by Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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