The exhibition includes the letters of East India Company servants, documenting their motivations for going to India and their experiences upon arrival.
Visitors can read the outraged letters of the Prince of Mysore, Jamh O Deen, held hostage by the East India Company, and the reports on the Vellore Mutiny of 1806. The advice and petition of Hindu pandits relating to the abolition of sati (the practice of widow immolation) illustrates the role of negotiation and dissent in response to foreign, colonial rule. Threads of Empire allows the visitor to witness the fragile terrain of British imperial power in India from the perspective of both the rulers and the ruled.
Displayed as part of the exhibition will be an artwork, 'Entangled Freedoms, I, II and III' by Infinite Threads, a local textile-art collective.
The exhibition has been jointly curated by Dr Onni Gust (Department of History), Ibtisam Ahmed (PhD Student, School of Politics and International Relations) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham. Ibtisam Ahmed’s time on the project was supported by the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies.
A series of talks and events will be held to accompany the exhibition. Places are limited so please book your tickets with the Box Office online or by calling 0115 8467777. See the exhibition page at Lakeside Arts Centre for further details.
Location and Opening Times
DH Lawrence Pavilion
Lakeside Arts Centre
Box Office : 0115 8467777
Tuesday to Friday 11am-4pm
Saturday, Sunday and Good Friday noon-4pm
Closed Mondays and Easter Sunday
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All talks are 1 - 2 pm
The ‘Thin White Line’: European soldiers in colonial India
The military sat at the core of imperial rule in India. Although the army was composed largely of Indian troops, European soldiers were thought to be crucial to maintaining colonial rule. Dr Erica Wald explores the professional and daily lives of the European rank-and-file in India in the 19th century.
Clothing the Other: Fashion and the British Empire in India
Indian clothes and textiles were key items of trade for the British East India Company. Clothes were more than just commodities; they symbolised the differences between ruler and ruled. Ibtisam Ahmed looks at the role of clothing in defining and enforcing British rule in India.
Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land
19th century debates over British rule in India British imperialism was a contentious subject, especially among those who actively participated in the imperial project. Drawing on the correspondence of British imperial elites and Indian rulers, Dr Onni Gust examines early debates about the rights and wrongs of British conquest and rule in India.
7.30pm, Djanogly Theatre
13 June: Dance/Spoken Word
Echoes and I Imagine (Aakash Odedra Company)
£15 (£12 concs), £9 restricted view
Suitable for 14+
Echoes is an exhilarating, high-octane Kathak dance experience which explores relationships with our ancestors. Choreographed by the Kathak icon Aditi Mangaldas, who is renowned for her artistry and energy, this groundbreaking work adds a contemporary twist to the stunning Kathak dance form. In 'I Imagine', Aakash combines beautiful choreography with powerful spoken word in a collaboration with award-winning poet Sabrina Mahfouz. Together they explore an imagined future and the confines of skin.
17 July: World Cinema
The Chess Players (1977) PG. Director Satyajit Ray
£5 (£3 concs)
A seminal piece of Indian cinema, 'The Chess Players' looks at the dynamics at play at the time of the annexation of Awadh (or Oudh) during the 1857 Rebellion. It focuses on the actions of two chess-obsessed noblemen, Mir (Jaffrey) and Mirza (Kumar). The juxtaposition of their interest in a game of strategy with their ineffectiveness in real-world politics is a scathing commentary on elitism and classism in India as much as it is a critique of British colonial policy.