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An exhibition celebrating 70 years of Indian Independence

Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges is an exciting touring exhibition funded by the Heritage Lottery, celebrating the history, migration and citizenship that connects four generations of Derby people.


Be the first to re-live real life stories of Indian Independence and WWII, through to tales of migration and life through the decades, captured by young people and community members.  


Following its tour through Derbyshire, Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges exhibition is curated here online for all to enjoy. 

Simply scroll and click on each of the 10 panels to zoom and experience.


Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges was born out Surtal Arts' close relationship with the South Asian communities

in Derby, and a desire to explore the idea of cultural heritage and what it means to young people. 

We approached schools and community groups in Derby, with an initial concept:  ‘The world on the move’ from 1945 - narrowed into three main questions:


  1. From where did your journey of migration start?

  2. How was your journey made and how or why you ended up in the UK?

  3. How have communities evolved over the past four generations in Derby?

It was the perfect intergenerational conversation starter.  Students recorded family stories and memories of migration told by their parents, grandparents and beyond. 


Photographs from old family albums were dusted off, and stories of struggle and aspiration moved many of us. 

Quotes from some of these interviews were used in the final exhibition, beside facts and images from Derby's historical archives.


Visitors of all ages will learn of how these historic events relating to their family migration and citizenship that forms their local community.

Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges exhibition launched at the Derby Museum & Arts Gallery on 24th March 2018

We're extremely proud of the creative outcome and social impact of this project - a contribution to the history of our City.  


We hope that the Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges information, exhibition and film will record the history of Derby’s communities and make it available for future generations to learn from.

The exhibition panels are now archived at The Derby Local Studies and Family History Library.


Dissolving Borders - Building Bridges is lead by Surtal Arts  

The project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Supported by Derby City Council, Derby Museum & Arts Gallery and Deda

Thanks also to partners - Indian Community Centre, Quad and all of the schools that took part

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