Apna Heritage Archive is our Featured Collection from May - June 2018 - find out more below in this taster of our blog interview with Curator Anand Chhabra.
Anand Chhabra, Founding Director of Black Country Visual Arts and Curator of the Apna Heritage Archive (AHA), spoke to us about how a personal interest in photography and Wolverhampton's Punjabi community led to an award-winning archive that reveals a hidden heritage, has people and learning at its core, produced an exhibition and continues to inspire, preserve and share stories and histories online.
What was the motivation behind forming Black Country Visual Arts and creating the archive?
I mainly work as a photographic artist and became involved in the Apna Heritage Archive through a series of incidents that started at the beginning of 2014. I had already started exploring memory, family and place for another personal fine art photographic project I had been working on. Firstly, I knew that personally there were great images within my own family’s albums. Through this project I found others in the community who also held amazing historical family photographs. Secondly, it bothered me that there were no ethnically based arts organisations, in the realms of photographic art, with real representation in the Black Country region that were profiling the minorities stories, especially whole communitites who’d been around over 50 years in the region. After conducting other research and visiting other arts organisations and enquiring about their work with minorities, I found that within this region there was very little impact being made by those organisations to communities and profiling their stories...
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Anand Chhabra will be speaking at the Family Ties Network: Transnational Family Research Seminar on 8 June at Coventry University. Places are free but booking is required. You can read more here and book your place here.