Welcome to Southall sign in English and Punjabi (Jerri Daboo, February 4th 2011)
Welcome sign in English and Punjabi
Sign outside the Glassy Junction pub saying that it was the first one in the UK to accept rupees (Jerri Daboo, 4 Feb 2011)
Glassy Junction pub sign
The Glassy Junction - a typical 'British' pub in Southall, but with a giant figure of a Bhangra dancer on the side (Jerri Daboo, 4 Feb 2011)
Glassy Junction pub in Southall complete with Bhangra dancer on the wall

The Southall Story

Start date: 1st May 2011
End date: 30th October 2013

The Department of Drama has been awarded a major grant from the AHRC to undertake a two and a half year project researching the cultural history of Southall. The project is a collaboration between the Department of Drama at the University of Exeter, the Department of Dance Studies at Roehampton University, and the founding members of 'The Southall Story' organisation. It aims to research, document and disseminate the cultural history of Southall since 1979, when the range of communities within Southall came together to resist racism and violence which were threatening the town. In response to these events, a range of social, political and cultural organisations and festivals were created to unite the communities together in resistance and celebration. New forms of performing arts were created out of the coming together of artists from different communities and backgrounds, leading to innovative forms of performance and artistic expression. This connection between the arts and the social-political contexts is of great importance in the subsequent cultural history of the town, and its contribution to the wider cultural life of Britain, and beyond.

The blog for the project can be found at: http://culturalhistoryofsouthall.wordpress.com/

The project team consists of a mixture of academics and practitioners:

  • Dr Jerri Daboo, University of Exeter (Principal Investigator)
  • Dr Ann David, University of Roehampton (Co-Investigator)
  • Dr Chandrika Patel (Research Assistant)
  • Dr Sukhwant Dhaliwal (Associate Research Fellow)
  • Dr Solomon Lennox (Associate Research Fellow)
  • Rehana Zaman (Associate Research Fellow)

The three founding members of the Southall Story organisation:

  • Dr Kuljit Bhamra
  • Shakila Maan
  • Ammy Phull

Partner Organisations:

  • The Royal Geographical Society, London
  • The Dominion Centre, Southall

The project's outputs include a co-authored book, a digital archive, a symposium and an exhibition.

Jerri Daboo has been awarded an AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement Award. This will fund events in India and Bangkok in November and December 2013. The exhibition from the Southall project will be shown at the India International Centre in Delhi, 13-22 November. Jerri Daboo and the three members of the Southall Story organisation are also producing and running a Festival of British Asian Culture in that time, which will include a film festival, a concert, and workshops on performance and photography, in addition to the exhibition. Following this, we will travel to Bangkok as invited guests of Chulalongkorn University, where we will run workshops with the Indian diasporic communities in Bangkok, as well as a concert. This will be the start of a large project researching the history of the Indian communities in Bangkok.