About - Mother, Daughter
A research and participatory project about British South Asian Women, Migration & Happiness.
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About

‘Mother, Daughter’ is a story-telling collaboration and participatory component of Kajal Nisha Patel’s Leverhulme Artist in Residence at The University of Leicester. This website forms part of the participatory component of her residency, where contributed stories about Mother-Daughter relationships are featured.

We will also be running a series of workshops in art, craft, photography, cookery, writing & storytelling as part of this project. Updates and news about these workshops will be shared here.

Background:

Who

Kajal Nisha Patel has been awarded the 2016 Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Leicester.

As part of her project, she is developing research on British South Asian women’s working and domestic lives. The project focuses on women who arrived from the Indian subcontinent during the late 1960s/70s and have spent the majority of their working lives in Britain. Kajal is contrasting the lives and aspirations of these women with those of younger South Asian women, who are guided by their parents’ generation yet strive to identify their own position within an evolving range of social and cultural values.

What/Why

The project aims to generate an important discussion around cultural and intergenerational conflict and issues that individuals of all generations face in negotiating multiple identities whilst adapting to life in Britain.

 

The search for a personal identity is by no means unique to women from the British South Asian community, so workshops are also aimed at drawing upon perspectives from women (and men) from outside this community. Participants will include those at risk of social exclusion. (Youth offenders & unemployed Muslim women will be prioritised with a view to decreasing racial tension between disparate individuals/groups.)

 

The project will produce a range of outputs via process-led activities. The workshops have been created in order for participants to experience a range of encounters, culminating in a legacy of shared outcomes. All outputs have been structured to provide individuals with opportunities to participate in activities that are usually inaccessible. This cross-generational project seeks to transcend boundaries of language, race, faith and gender. We aim to draw attention and celebrate shared histories (e.g. stories about working class struggles) whilst using differences in individuals’ lives to discuss ideas and individual strengths. Our activities are also an important way for participants to learn and share important life skills, which may also encourage entrepreneurship.
Project outputs aim to be a means of building positive relations between diverse groups, extending beyond our initial reach of socially excluded British South Asian women. By encompassing others who are also at risk of social exclusion, a wide range of individuals are provided with a safe space in which to identify with others who may be experiencing similar personal problems.

When/Where

Workshops – To be held between July and August 2016.

Residency – Kajal is based between The University of Leicester and Attenborough Arts until December 2016.

Outputs:

Artwork/Exhibition
To form the basis of a travelling exhibition at various art galleries around the UK, beginning at The University of Leicester.

– A photographic series about Asian Women across generations.

– 5 short films covering individual personal stories.

– A sculptural installation using fabric, mixed media, objects and archival material.

Workshops
Lightseekers to deliver workshops in:

 

ArtWomen from Leicester’s British South Asian community will be encouraged to participate in a series of creative workshops with a focus on self-expression, communication and collaboration. The aims of the workshops are to encourage self-presentation and dialogue between the participants to foster better understanding between disparate groups (religious, age, sex, caste and class) and encourage new relationships and friendships to be formed across communities. Asian women will be invited to share their experiences and collaborate with non-Asian women (and men) and the wider public.

 

Cooking British South Asian women to share cooking skills. These sessions will be open to the public and there will be a chance for participants to cook, taste and share recipes and ideas for British-Asian fusion food. Participants will be able to learn and develop essential life skills and build/gain confidence in their own abilities. This will also present opportunities for the community to discuss cultural differences and adopt each other’s culinary techniques.

Seminar
Members of the Leicester Migration Network will host Kajal at a seminar discussion exploring the contribution of artistic representation to public and scholarly understanding of Asian communities in the UK. A film will be screened at this event.
Publications
Photo-book  A handmade book will be produced with a view to finding a publisher or self publishing.

 

Cookbook -The most innovative recipes created from the cooking workshops will be published into a professionally designed keepsake book, which will be made available to the public.

Outcomes:

The processes of writing, art production and cooking will provide makers with an outlet for self-expression and self representation. As with all outputs, those at high risk of isolation, social exclusion and mental health problems will feel less stigmatised by participating in group activities. We see this as an excellent opportunity for knowledge exchange to occur. Participants will learn about each other’s lives, transfer cultural knowledge/information and exchange ideas while also reflecting on potentially difficult and/or traumatic personal experiences.

FAQs:

Will I be paid for my submission?  This project is a platform for women who usually do not have the opportunity to personally express their creativity. It is a voluntary project so unfortunately all submissions are unpaid. However, selected stories may be published in a book at the end of the project. If your story is published, a book will be sent to you, free of charge.

 

Do I own the copyright to my material? Yes. You retain copyright of all material, however, by signing the terms and conditions, you allow us publishing rights.
Will my content be altered/edited? Yes. All content will be checked and edited by a professional editor.

Contributors