Coming to Coventry Exhibition Launched
This week sees the culmination of a year-long project uncovering fascinating memories of the South Asian migrants who came to Coventry during the 1940s,1950s and 1960s.
The project is a partnership between the Asian Mental Health Access Projectand The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, and has been grant-aided by theHeritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
More than 70 people, mainly first generation migrants, have contributed to the project. Their experiences have been recorded and used to create an exhibition which will launched at The Herbert on 27th May. The exhibition will enable visitors to discover the Asian community's early years in the city through a combination of photographs, stories and archive film.
Together they show the difficulties, fun and friendship involved in establishing a new life in Coventry.
Jitey Samra of the Coming to Coventry project team said the scheme had been a great success, and presented an invaluable opportunity to document and preserve the history of Asian people and their role in the city of Coventry.
'Nothing like this has ever been done in Coventry before or any other city in the UK,' explained Jitey. 'These pioneering people were the beginnings of Coventry's multiculturalism. Though many of these early migrants anticipated going back home, families began to be established and the process of permanent resettlement began. The exhibition and accompanying book will give people a fascinating insight and chance to explore early Asian life in Coventry through the eyes of those who experienced it - everything from work o weddings and hardship to holidays.'
HLF's Regional Manager Anne Jenkins said: 'This project has been a wonderful way of connecting history and personal experiences and will help people appreciate the valuable contributions made by the early Asian migrants to Coventry. We are very pleased to have funded the project and hope many People will take the opportunity to see the exhibition and learn about this important time during Coventry's history.'
The Coming to Coventry exhibition runs at The Herbert from 27th May to 29th June 2006. Admission is free. The exhibition also features a photographic display by local schoolchildren, exploring their British Asian identity and the impact of migration on their lives. The programme of supporting events includes a reminiscence day, a talk and a film screening.
For further details and for other visitor information, see www.theherbert.org
The Coming to Coventry book is packed with additional material and will be on sale at The Herbert shop. To find out more about the project visit www.coming2coventry.org
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