Introducing Motherland to Fatherland
Posted in 1910-1919, 1920-1929, 1930-1939, 1940-1949, 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009, 2010-2019, 20th Century, Events, galleries, people, Stories, Strandlines and tagged with Anglo-India, Anglo-Indian, British Empire, colonial, colonialism, exhibition, identity, immigration, imperial, India, migration, Partition, raj, UK
What is Motherland to Fatherland ?
Motherland to Fatherland is an exhibition that brings to light the existence of the Anglo-Indian community in London. I am curating the project as part of my 2nd year MA Narrative Environments studies, at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
Motherland to Fatherland hopes to give voice to an ethnic minority of the UK, that is currently living on the edge, and often only seen as a by-product of Britain’s colonial rule in India.
The project will showcase people’s stories by documenting their experiences before and after the Indian independence in 1947, which involved their journey from India to Great Britain.
What is the driving force behind this project? How did you go about creating it?
Stemming from my personal interest in the colonisation of India, I was looking at ways to connect India and Great Britain, wherein I found the fascinating community of Anglo-Indians currently living in London whose stories give an alternative lens to British colonialism and Indian Partition.
Since summer 2019, I have been researching and conducting personal interviews of the members of the community; documenting their memories, stories, objects and lived expriences with a focus on the migration from India to Great Britain. With this exhibition, I aim to highlight the delicate relationship between longing and belonging that this community faces.
What is so unique about this community?
Anglo-Indians were offsprings of British Colonialism in India. It is a unique community which arguably brings together the best of both cultures in their own way. Post Indian Independence in 1947, and following the subsequent exit of British from India, the community has witnessed a steady decline. Throughout history, they have been unrecorded and undocumented due to their mixed race background. The country-born Anglo Indians around the world are currently living in their 70s and 80s; giving us the last opportunity to hear their untold stories. It is now or never to hear what they have to say, about the Anglo-Indian way of life.
Why did you approach The India Club as a place to host the exhibition?
Both The India Club’s and this project’s vision coincide: that is, to strengthen and futhur the ties between the two nations. It is such a place of meaning, wherein people like to dwell over the past while they socialise and come together to celebrate their history and legacy. It is befitting to see the project hosted at The India Club because it reaches out to not only the Indian community, but also the non-Indian Londoners which this project aims to reach.
Who is this exhibition meant for?
This exhibition is aimed at the Anglo Indian community, especially the 2nd and 3rd generation who were born in Great Britain to take pride in their ancestry. And more importantly, I hope that many people outside this community will visit, to raise their own awareness, and to acknowledge and celebrate this community’s existence in London.
So what are the next steps?
I am currently in the process of building the elements for the exhibit in order to put it together. I am running a crowdfunding Go Fund Me page, and any donations would be helpful towards seeing this project come alive.
I’m also running an Instagram account to begin to advertise the project and reach out to audiences. Follow @motherlandtofatherland on Instagram to stay updated!