Centre for Hidden Histories Co-Investigator, Professor Mike Heffernan (Geography, University of Nottingham) has been working with community partner, Satvinder Panasear and the community Learning team at Leicester City Council to realise the Ramgharia Sikh Tapestry Project. Bringing together a tapestry making team from Leicester’s Sikh community, the multi paneled embroidered tapestry which is currently being completed, depicts images representing Sikh involvement in the First World War. The project aims to empower Sikh ladies from Leicester Gurdwara, encourage life-long learning and historical research as well as more broadly, raise awareness of the history of the First World War in the Sikh community. In addition, the project seeks to renew the skills of women in Leicester’s textile industry and connect diverse communities.
The project has received media coverage on BBC Radio Leicester (February 2015), Sahib International Panjabi Magazine (October 2015) and on international Sikh TV channel, Sangat (October 2015). One of the tapestry’s panels will be inspired by the famous peacock dress worn by Lady Curzon at the 1903 Delhi Durbar. This dress will be featured in an upcoming special exhibition at Kedlestone Hall, a heritage site which the Sikh ladies have visited as part of their project.
Here are some images of the tapestry making process in action! We look forward to seeing the completed work in 2017.