Migrant Songs 1950s-80s: Preserving Bangladeshi Musical Heritage in the North-West

by | Jul 18, 2022 | History, Research | 0 comments

Written by Professor Anindita Gosh

This project is aimed at Bangladeshi audiences in the North West and is designed to showcase their rich folk music in tribute to the migrant experience in the region. It consisted of a series of events organised in the North-West – across Manchester, Oldham and Bradford – with the explicit purpose of bringing the history of Bangladeshi migration and the role of music in it, to younger generations of Bangladeshis, showcasing their rich heritage.

As part of the project, I teamed up with a leading community-based theatre group, Ayna Arts, to produce an original play, entitled Telegram, on Bengali folk music and migration at the OBA Oldham Millennium Centre. Telegram is based on real life experiences of Bangladeshi migrants who came to work in the mills and factories in north-West England from the 1950s onwards, and resonated with first and second generation South Asian migrants in the audience, irrespective of background or location.

It was reported on Dunya TV, a community (Pakistani) based news channel (see here), and was shown across not just the UK but also in Europe, USA, Hong Kong and Middle East as well as South Africa, as reported by the contributor, Shakil Salam.

Project duration: 2021-2022

Project lead: Professor Anindita Gosh (Dept. of History, UoM)

External partners: Ayna Arts, Krishnochuara

Funding source: Faculty Research Recovery Fund


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