Leicester celebrates 50 years since the arrival of Ugandan Asians

By Courtney Stevens

A new exhibition is set to open in July at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery to mark the 50th anniversary of Ugandan Asians arriving in the city.

In 1972, more than 27,000 Ugandan Asians arrived in Britain after being expelled from their country by the former dictator Idi Amin.

The exhibition will be created by the local arts organisation, Navrang, and has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project has also been supported by Leicester City Council and aims to celebrate the impacts the community has had on Leicester.

Nishil Saujani, member of Navrang arts group, expressed how important the exhibition is for the community: “It’s really important for the people who came over here to be able to tell their stories.

“To be able to hear exactly what happened to them and the trauma they went through and coming over here and having to start from nothing.”

Navrang previously worked on the 2012 project celebrating the 40-year anniversary of Ugandan Asians arriving in Leicester, called ‘From Kampala to Leicester’.

Mr Saujani also spoke about how the exhibition has given him the opportunity to tell his own family’s story.

He said: “My parents came over from Uganda, so being able to tell their story using their own voices is a great opportunity for me.

“We aren’t just celebrating the impact that the community have had over these past 50 years, it’s also a way for them to meet with others and revisit situations that they may not have seen or heard about for a very long time.”

The exhibition will highlight the impact the community has had here in Leicester and its influence on the culture and businesses in the city.

The previous project that was created to celebrate the 40th anniversary is still on display at Leicester’s Newarke Houses Museum and the new exhibition is set to open in early July at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, with plans to tour it around the country.

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