Tracing Heritage & Roots through Cultural Transformation, 2010
Mapping my family history, I uncovered my Grandfather settled with his young family in Kampala, Uganda with the promise of economic opportunity. However, in 1972 they were suddenly expelled from the country alongside 80,000 other Asians and Europeans. The then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country's Indian, Pakistani and European minority, giving them 90 days to leave Uganda. Amin said that he had had a dream in which God told him to order the expulsion. Individuals were only allowed to take a small amount of money and one suitcase of belongings with them. Alongside a few precious items, he took all his negatives, cameras and photo albums to Nairobi, where they finally settled.
This work investigates my ancestral heritage; having spent numerous summers in Nairobi as a child, I discovered my Grandfather was an avid photographer who enjoyed experimenting in the darkroom. Trawling through all of the family albums with him I discovered ephemera and listened to all his stories all of which portrayed their rich family life; despite all the turmoil and hardship he faced supporting a young family.
This work pays homage to my Grandfather and my roots.