Embodying Culture and Identity: British Asian performance in Southall
This symposium was a sharing of work by the academic team (Dr Jerri Daboo, University of Exeter, Dr Ann R David, University of Roehampton and Dr Sukhwant Dhaliwal) and artistic consultants (Kuljit Bhamra, Shakila Mann, Ammy Phull,) of the AHRC-funded project ‘A Cultural History of Southall’. The project investigates the range of performance and art forms including bhangra, giddha, gatka, music, film and photography in relation to political events and social organisations that have developed in Southall over the past forty years. It looks across and between art forms, as well as the way in which these genres have been transformed from their ‘traditional’ beginnings through processes of adaptation in the diaspora context.
The project has gathered 150 interviews with key arts practitioners and social activists which form the basis of the research material, based on a qualitative oral history approach and using an interdisciplinary framework of performance studies and ethnography. The symposium consisted of presentations from the core academic team, as well as contributions from the artistic consultants, which led to a plenary with respondents selected from different disciplines, and an open discussion.