SOAS University of London

Announcement: SOAS SAHM Festival Launch and Reception

14 July 2022

Journeys of Empire and Dispersed Diasporas

Event Type: Festival

When: 15 July (12:30 pm) to 16 July (8 pm).

Where: SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute hosts the hybrid summer festival SOAS South Asian Heritage Month Festival on campus taking place on 15-16 July 2022 in partnership with South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM) focusing on the theme of ‘Journeys of Empire’, which encompasses many different aspects of South Asian identity, not only in Britain but in other communities across the diaspora that were and continue to be influenced by the journeys of the empire. The theme also reflects two major anniversaries taking place in 2022: the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, Pakistan, Partition and subsequent political division of East and West Pakistan; the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin.

The SOAS SAHM festival over two summer days focuses on the Journeys of Empire and Dispersed Diasporas to specially curate each of those anniversaries that have an important resonance amongst South Asian dispersed diasporas, both in the UK and around the world. 

The opening day of 15th July will see an auspicious beginning at SOAS's iconic site of the statue of Thiruvalluvar, the renowned Tamil poet, located at the entrance. The day is filled with a reflective workshop on poetry to connect to our past, help us better understand the present, and envision a different future. Evening screenings are preceded by theme launches on Partition and its multi-faceted narratives told through the lens of survivors and later generations. All events are free and live on campus.

On the 16th of July, visitors have free and full access to all theatre, performances and music for the day. Watch the exclusive R&D Theatre breaDth -- Theatre and Creative Collaboration Tickets, Sat 16 Jul 2022 at 16:00 followed by Fest Finale speeches (5:50 pm to 6:15 pm) -- Prof Andrea Cornwall (Outgoing Pro-Director, Research and Enterprise), Khadir Meer (Chief Operating Officer at SOAS), Oliver Urquhart Irvine (Director of SOAS Library) among others (TBC). 

CLOSING DRINKS RECEPTION is 6pm onwards in the Brunei Gallery Room (BG 02) that is free to attend for all SOAS staff and SSAI members but registration is compulsory. SOAS SAHM FEST -- The Brunei Pass: Theatre, Global Music and Wine Reception Tickets, Sat 16 Jul 2022 at 14:00
Tickets are required by non-SOAS attendees and the general public. South Asia Heritage Month | SOAS University of London Online Store

OTHER ATTRACTIONS: Throughout the campus sites, you can expect a rich lineup of expert-led activities that will see in-person memory-sharing opportunities, screenings, and a mixture of soundscapes that mingle with cross-cultural conversations we hear in SOAS, especially in our language lounge marked for the hangout. Roots and Changes - Gujarati Diasporic Influences, Visual Arts Workshop with PiNS - Journeys Of Empire.

Two sites in the Senate buildings -- the Wolfson and the SOAS Alumni Lecture theatre are filled with innovative open mic sessions of a Memory Box inviting wide-ranging comments on South Asian identities and a bespoke workshop on oral histories of Partition. Curated walks to the SOAS Library and SOAS Library exhibition will be conducted as part of these events as taster sessions. Join Pakistani Classical Music -The New Tech frontier with Saarey Music; Memory Box: Voices of Migration and Border Crossing

All events can be found on the main festival list: SOAS SAHM Festival: Journeys of Empire and Dispersed Diasporas

The Festival is co-directed by Sanjukta Ghosh (SSAI) and Farzana Qureshi (SOAS Library) supported by the Students Union, SOAS Library, SOAS Research and Enterprise. The festival is in partnership with South Asian Heritage Month, the well-known month-long celebration in the United Kingdom (similar in spirit to Black History Month and other awareness months). The SOAS SAHM is in collaboration with Jasvir Singh OBE and Dr Binita Kane along with the wider team.

South Asia Heritage Month Festival