2017 not only marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence from British colonial rule, but also of the partition of the country, resulting in the creation of Pakistan and later Bangladesh. It’s a violent and troubled history that shaped generations and continues to be a source of conflict today.
Out of this context, several of Manchester’s main museums, galleries and other cultural institutions have joined forces to present a city-wide programme of exhibitions and events, reflecting on the shared heritage and historic connections between South Asia and the North of England. The programme stretches from September right into 2018, and includes work by a wide selection of internationally renowned South Asian and British artists of South Asian descent.
Among the highlights to look forward to; Whitworth Art Gallery will host the first major UK exhibition by Raqs Media Collective and the work of South Asian Modernists 1953-63. MIF 2015 artist Nikhil Chopra will give a 48-hour one-off performance at the Museum of Science and Industry. And a series of new works and interventions by Reena Saini Kallat will appear at Manchester Museum. Other participating artists include: Neha Choksi, Waqas Khan, Mehreen Murtaza, Hetain Patel, Risham Syed and Tentative Collective (giving a one-off performance lecture) at Manchester Art Gallery.
To launch the programme, an opening weekend of music, film and performances will take place from 29 September to 1 October; including a showcase of Indian cinema at HOME and series of contemporary South Asian music events at Band On The Wall.
The programme is part of New North and South; a network of eleven arts organisations from across the North of England and South Asia, leading on a three-year project of co-commissions, exhibitions and intellectual exchange to celebrate shared heritage across continents and develop artistic talent.