Remaking Britain extends the research of previous AHRC-funded projects ‘Making Britain: Visions of Home and Abroad (1870-1950)‘ and ‘Beyond the Frame: Indian-British Connections‘, as well as the outdoor touring exhibition of 2017 ‘At the Heart of the Nation: India in Britain’ (Professor Susheila Nasta, OU).
i. ‘Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870-1950’ was a major collaborative interdisciplinary 3-year research project, 2007-2010. It was led by The Open University, in collaboration with partners Oxford University, King’s College London and the British Library. Professor Susheila Nasta (PI, OU) worked with Professor Elleke Boehmer (Co-I, Oxon) and Professor Ruvani Ranasinha (Co-I, KCL).
The project examined the formative contributions South Asians made to Britain’s literary, political and cultural life in this early period.
Central to the project was a database launched in 2010, which ‘Remaking Britain’ will extend and develop.
ii. ‘Beyond the Frame: Indian British Connections’ built on the success of ‘Making Britain’. Profiling visual and archival sources in international collections, ‘Beyond the Frame’ highlighted the numerous ways in which South Asians positioned themselves within British society and culture, exploring the significance of their impact on British life.
The primary objective of ‘Beyond the Frame’ was to heighten public awareness of the depth of South Asian contributions to contemporary British life.
The project toured the panel exhibition ‘Beyond the Frame: India in Britain, 1858-1950’ to seven cities in India between 2011 and 2012.
iii. ‘At the Heart of the Nation: India in Britain’ coincided with the 70th anniversary of independence. Through an outdoor, photographic exhibition, the project shifted away from well-known accounts of post-independence India and the earlier period of the British Raj, focusing 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.