South Asian Heritage Month Festival at The Whitworth

South Asian Heritage Month Festival
The Whitworth
22nd July 2022 – 23rd July 2022

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  • Wheelchair Accessible
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Manchester Museum's South Asia Gallery Collective

Organised by Manchester Museum, The South Asian Heritage Month festival is taking place on 22-23 July at the Whitworth while the museum is closed for its £15 million transformation.

South Asian Heritage Month is an annual awareness month that begins on 18 July, when the Indian Independence Act 1947 gained royal assent, and ends on 17 August, when the Radcliffe Line was published in 1947, finally setting out the border between India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The start and end dates show just how much of an influence Britain has had on South Asia as a whole over the last few centuries. The dates coincide to a large extent with the South Asian month of Saravan/Sawan, which is the main monsoon month when the region’s habitat undergoes renewal. Having it take place across the two Western calendar months of July and August is entirely apt, as it respects the traditions of the South Asian calendars. This period also includes several independence days connected to South Asian countries.

South Asian Heritage Month is about reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians. People need to be able to tell their own stories, and this is an opportunity to show what it means to be South Asian in the 21st century, as well as look to the past to see how Britain became the diverse country it is today. South Asian influences can be found everywhere in Britain, from food and clothes to music and even our words. The streets of our towns and cities are rich with the colours, sights and sounds of proud South Asian identity. Its culture permeates all parts of British life and adds to the diversity of the nation.

South Asian Heritage Month aims to transform how people connect with South Asian culture and identity in three simple ways:

  • Celebration of arts, culture and heritage

  • Commemoration of South Asian history

  • Education about South Asian-ness, both past and present

When it opens next year, Manchester Museum’s South Asia Gallery will be an exceptional new space creating the first permanent gallery in the country dedicated to exploring the stories, experiences, cultures and contributions of South Asian diaspora communities in the UK. Presenting a dynamic, contemporary take on South Asian and British Asian culture, it will bring world-class material from the British Museum to Manchester, to be displayed alongside the very best of Manchester Museum’s own South Asian collections and those of some of our partners across the city.  The South Asia Gallery will have significance far beyond Manchester. It is an unprecedented opportunity to work with communities of South Asian heritage – regionally, nationally and internationally.

A place for emotional connections and new perspectives, the gallery is being designed and built with a spirit of collaboration and co-production, with a unique Collective of educators, community leaders, artists, historians, journalists, scientists, musicians, students and others from the South Asian diaspora. Studio C102 and Mobile Studio Architects have been appointed as the design team to create this exceptional new co-curated and co-designed space.

​Until Manchester Museum opens again next year, enjoy this year’s South Asian Heritage Month festival at the Whitworth.

Part of this season

The Singh Twins – Jallianwala: Repression & Retribution
The Whitworth | 22 July 2022

Manchester Museum is excited to be hosting a private screening of The Singh Twins’ film Jallianwala: Repression & Retribution

Part of South Asian Heritage Month Festival

Manchester Museum: Meet the South Asia Gallery Collective
The Whitworth | 23 July 2022

Get an insight into Manchester Museum’s ground-breaking South Asia Gallery, its development, vision and goals.

Part of South Asian Heritage Month Festival

Writing workshop with Anita Sethi
The Whitworth | 23 July 2022

Join Anita Sethi and explore themes of place, nature, journeying and how writing can bring a sense of belonging.

Part of South Asian Heritage Month Festival

A Celebration of Bengali Folk Musical Heritage – Curated by Anindita Ghosh
The Whitworth | 23 July 2022

A tribute to, and celebration of Bengali folk music, that has shaped the cultural identity of Bengali communities both in South Asia and the diaspora, including the UK.

Part of South Asian Heritage Month Festival

Taboos & Untouched Topics
The Whitworth | 23 July 2022

Join Our Shared Cultural Heritage for a poetry workshop exploring taboos and untouched topics within South Asian culture and community.

Part of South Asian Heritage Month Festival

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