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DMU's digital gallery reveals how film heritage affects India and its diaspora

The exhibition will throw light on how both the Indians and the 2nd and 3rd generation diaspora in Leicester value heritage.


The De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, has created a digital gallery, as a result of a year-long study exploring people's perception of Indian films.

According to a University statement, the gallery will include video, written contributions, and artefacts like photos and movie posters, from India and Leicester.

Dr. Monia Acciari, associate professor of Film History and expert in Indian cinema, along with her team, began working on the project during the nation's 75th anniversary of independence. She spent four months in India working with students from partner institutions in the city of Pune with the assistance of fellow DMU researchers Dr. Anoop Bhogal-Nair and Dr. Antonia Liguori from Loughborough University.

‌‌They gave lectures on archives, inventive approaches to cinema history, historical commemorations like the Indian Independence Day, and the power of digital storytelling to students at the University of Pune and the Symbiosis Institute of Art and Commerce, the University news release noted.‌

Dr Monia Acciari & Dr Anoop Bhopal Nair (front centre) with students during her research

Acciari and Bhogal Nair noticed that there were distinct differences between people in India and the diaspora in Leicester when it came to talking about independence and their relationship with cinema.

Acciari said, “I had many chance encounters in India and the UK with people who shared some incredibly personal stories and had personal collections of memorabilia to go with them. The project became so much more than a look at the impact of independence and people’s understanding of these events."

‌‌She said, “The effect of independence is not something that endures in the community or the society they live in. Independence and its consequences are still very much part of a shared history within the diaspora in the UK but they possibly have a more distant view of it.”