Birmingham City University plans poetic celebration of 75 years of UK-India relations

Birmingham City University plans poetic celebration of 75 years of UK-India relations
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The 75th anniversary of Indian independence and 75 years of India-UK relations is to be marked by a special celebration of poetry from writers and performers of Indian origin as part of a new partnership announced this week.

Birmingham City University (UK) said it has joined forces with Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, to stage three events across 2021 and 2022, which will celebrate the multilingual poetry of India and its diaspora. The events will explore the longstanding tradition of poetry and its historic role in Indian tradition, featuring Indian poets and British poets of Indian heritage to honour the close relationship between the two countries.

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“India has a rich and diverse tradition of poetry that spans many languages, giving us insight into varied cultures and social issues,” said Professor Rajinder Dudrah, Interim Associate Dean for Research, Innovation and Enterprise in the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University.

“Partnering with our University colleagues and artist friends in India has enabled us to offer this event as taking stock of the artistic form, while helping us better understand Indian and diasporic socio-cultural life as India moves beyond its 75th milestone year of Independence,” he said.

The first event will take place online on September 18 and will feature artists including Rati Agnihotri (English/Hindi), Sanjeev Kaushal (Hindi), Meena Kandasamy (Tamil/English), and Anwar Ali (Malayalam/English). BCU said poetry has been chosen as the focus for the celebration due its powers to cross borders, and the significant role language can play in connecting people.

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The free-to-attend events will also mark the lead up to Birmingham UK playing host to the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will see India compete in an array of disciplines.

Birmingham City University said the announcement marks the latest in a series of strong links between university and India, including its partnership with the Hero Group to create a STEAMhouse India to bring together the arts with traditional technical subjects to boost innovation. It also includes a partnership with Ronkel Media Education Institute, which provides students with real-world experience working on motion picture productions for Bollywood features.

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