As we kick off South Asian Heritage Month (18 July-17 August), an annual celebration of the shared cultural connection between the UK and South Asia, Homegrown is delving into the importance of South Asian creatives who amplify their communities’ representation in the fields of art, culture and heritage.
In a month dedicated to reclaiming the history and identity of British South Asians, we must hone our roles as the creators and storytellers of the 21st century.
Cultivating a community that delves into representation beyond the fictional realm, we turn our gaze towards British Indian creatives magnifying the impact of diasporic communities in the modern-day UK.
A journalist, creative consultant and social media influencer based in London, the influencer isn’t afraid to shed light upon her experiences as a British Asian woman juggling a multifaceted identity.
The well-known influencer keeps it interesting by sharing an authentic account of the struggles of colourism, racial disparity and mental health that resonates with the diaspora community globally.
If you’re seeking to channel a stylish avatar or read a poignant account of the life experiences of a desi creative or even just indulge in feel-good content on your explore feed, we suggest checking out Simran’s Instagram.
II. Sunil Gupta
An Indian Canadian photographer currently based in London, Sunil Gupta has spent his career “...making work responding to the injustices suffered by gay men across the globe, himself included.” Perhaps one of the first photographers to capture queer romance in urban Indian spaces, Sunil’s work revolves around themes of sexual identity, the migrant experience and queer advocacy.
Sunil’s photo project ‘Exiles’ remains one of the most prolific photo projects depicting the queer love in Delhi in the 1980s, a reflection of the fact that coming out as gay was truly an act of rebellion in India’s conservative society at the time.
View his work here.
III. Harnaam Kaur
Meet Harnaam Kaur, a Guinness record holder for being the first woman with a beard. Shattering obtuse ideas of beauty in order to hold a larger conversation revolving around body hair positivity, Harnaam is reinventing the niche for turbaned models in the industry.
An anti-bullying activist, Kaur has been recognized by international magazines like Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. The British social media personality dons many roles including postpartum coach, life coach and motivational speaker. Harnaam defines herself as a body-positive warrior and we’re here for it!
IV. Bharti Kher
A prolific artist, Bharti Kher makes surreal sculptures, paintings, and installations that add a sense of magic and beauty to everyday objects –– the traditional bindi in particular.
Interpreting the Bindi as a mutable medium rather than an object, the Indian symbol for domesticity, beauty and fashion marks her sculptures and is often swirled within the paint itself. Kher’s known for her three-dimensional pieces that are delicate and fantastical in nature.
Her work is widely well received internationally and is often auctioned in seven figures and belongs in the collections of the Tate, the British Museum, the National Museum of Canada, the Devi Art Foundation, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and the Walker Art Centre.
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