Kavi Pujara's Photoseries Is An Ode To The Resilience Of Leicester's Immigrant Community

'This Golden Mile'
'This Golden Mile'Kavi Pujara

Amidst the turbulent shifts in Britain's political scene, British-Asian photographer Kavi Pujara embarked on a profoundly personal and emotional journey to reconnect with his hometown of Leicester through his photoseries, 'This Golden Mile.' Pujara's work portrays the intricate layers of community, identity, migration, and the evolving idea of home.

After returning to Leicester in 2016, after being in London for almost 30 years, Pujara found himself entangled in the aftermath of the EU referendum — a time marked by political turmoil and a resurgence of anti-immigrant views. 'This Golden Mile' materialised within this tense atmosphere; serving as a testament to the rich tapestry of multiculturalism that was embedded in Leicester's very fabric.

Venturing into the streets of Melton Road and Belgrave Road, Pujara's lens encapsulated the essence of a community. Through his captivating imagery, he aimed to challenge prevailing narratives of fear and anxiousness and instead highlighted Leicester's immigrant's beauty and interconnectedness.

For Pujara, 'This Golden Mile' transcended mere photography — it became a deeply personal journey, a quest to reconcile memories of a city scarred by racism with today's vibrant and diverse Leicester. By showcasing the humble homes, revered temples, and busy street corners that characterise this community, Pujara invites viewers on a poetic journey through the everyday life of Leicester's Indian enclave.

Spanning five transformative years, from 2018 to 2022, Pujara's visual records served as a diary of strength and cultural enrichment amidst the uncertainty of British politics. As the nation wrestled with its place on the global stage, 'This Golden Mile' is an homage to the unwavering strength and invaluable contributions of immigrant communities to the social and cultural fabric of the country.

Through his documentary-like approach that encompassed portraiture, landscapes, and still life, Pujara captures the nuanced elements of identity shaped by geopolitical shifts and socioeconomic dynamics. His images not only capture the diversity of Leicester but also resonate with universal themes of belonging and displacement.

In an era of increasing interconnectedness, 'This Golden Mile' reminds us of the importance of embracing diversity and honouring the multifaceted narratives that define our communities. Through Pujara's lens, we are urged to look beyond superficial perceptions and stereotypes; recognising the shared humanity and resilience that bind us together.

Follow Kavi Pujara here.

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