Finding Home is a series of new plays that mark 50 years since the Ugandan Asian exodus and celebrate the Ugandan Asian community in Leicester. My own family arrived in the UK from Uganda after Idi Amin ordered the Asian population to leave the country within ninety days in 1972, seizing their properties, business and possessions. In total, almost 80,000 Asians were forced to flee Uganda and seek refuge in countries all over the world. Despite an advert issued by Leicester City Council urging Ugandan Asians not to come to Leicester, many came to the city to find a new home and rebuild their lives.
It is a story I’ve always known but never truly understood and Curve Theatre’s latest series of plays, combined with the new exhibition at the Leicester Museum, have been an emotional and enlightening journey through my family’s history and the history of a community which is now part of the very fabric of Leicester – often heralded as the UK’s most diverse city.
Rukah, Ninety Days and Call Me By My Name make up the ‘Finding Home’ collection and are written by Chandni Mistry, Ashok Patel and Dilan Raithatha respectively. Dilan Raithatha (Little India, Theatre Royal Haymarket) is an alumnus of our Leicester-based drama school Urban Young Actors. Urban alumni truly lead from the front with Rav Moore starring in Ninety Days, Octavia Nyombi as assistant director and Manas Kotak, one of our current actors, taking a lead role in Call Me By My Name.
In the weeks leading up to the premiere, I had the opportunity to shoot the rehearsal process as well as the dress rehearsals. As a director and filmmaker, I am hugely passionate about visual art and take great pleasure in working as a photographer whenever I can. When it comes to film, my work involves collaborating with a variety of artists over a prolonged shoot and post-production process to bring a complex story to life. In contrast, there is also something magical about capturing a singular moment in time and telling a story through a frozen, photographed image.
I was extremely honoured to shoot the Finding Home collection and capture the stunning work of director Mandeep Glover, choreographer Kesha Raithatha and set designer Eleanor Field.
You can see some of my work in the following BBC article and more photos below: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-62361131