Exhibit: South Asian American History, Culture, & Community

Exhibit: South Asian American History, Culture, & Community

Exhibit: South Asian American History, Culture, & Community

WHAT: “South Asian American History, Culture, & Community” – Photo & Historical Exhibit
WHEN: August 25 to October 31, 2014 (Gallery Reception and Kick-Off of Kriti Festival on Thursday, September 25, 4:00-6:00 p.m.)
WHERE: University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Ward Gallery, located on the second floor of the Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St.
The gallery is free admission and open to the public during building operational hours. The September 25 reception is also free and open to the public.

The exhibit has two sections – historical text and images about local South Asian American immigrant communities and images submitted by UIC community and friends – and is co-sponsored by UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Campus Programs, and South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI). The exhibit is in conjunction and collaboration with the South Asian literature Kriti Festival.

“From stories of early immigrant desi women who deliberately wore saris everywhere in an attempt to elude racial discrimation, to images documenting birthday parties, first cars, and dance events, these photographs illustrate personal histories, and the larger South Asian diasporic story,” said Mary Anne Mohanraj, Associate Coordinator, Asian and Asian American Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago and Executive Director, DesiLit.

“We are proud to partner with UIC and Kriti Festival in sharing these stories, both old and new,” said Ami Gandhi, executive director of SAAPRI. “SAAPRI’s oral history exhibit by has been the first attempt to document the history of South Asian immigration to Illinois in the pre-civil rights era. We appreciate learning from the experiences of elder immigrants as we tackle the challenges facing our community today.”

The September 25 opening reception will feature the photographic diasporic history art exhibit and rapid-fire reading. Speakers will include featured photographer Preston Merchant, as well as the following readers: Fatimah Asghar, Sonali Dev, Anjali Mitter Duva, Syed Afzal Haider, Soniah Kamal, Parul Kaushik, Mina Khan, Neha Misra, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Rajdeep Paulus, Shakuntala Rajagopal, Phiroozeh Romer, Ankur Thakkar, Deepak Unnikrishnan, Vidhu Aggarwal, and Bishakh Som. SAAPRI’s Ami Gandhi and Priya Uppuluri will also be speaking.