Compiling the list
British South Asian is a label, it does not define an experience but broadly it can be applied to people from the Indian subcontinent. As outlined by Minority Rights Group International, the South Asian minority group includes people from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and some from the Middle East.
“Advocates of decolonisation don’t want to abolish the canon; they want to interrogate its assumptions and broaden our intellectual vision to include a wider range of perspectives.” - The Guardian, Academics: It's Time To Get Behind Decolonising The Curriculum, by James Muldoon
The British South Asians in Film list is an ongoing project by Hamish Mèk Chohan. Films are added to the list as they are discovered - old and new - and will occasionally be written about in Hamish’s blog, Today I watched.
British South Asian is not a genre. British South Asians in Film is an intervention instigated as an act of decolonising the higher education curriculum.
“Many political and educational plans have failed because their authors designed them according to their own personal views of reality, never once taking into account (except as mere objects of their actions) the men-in-a-situation to whom their program was ostensibly directed.” - Pedagogy Of The Oppressed by Paulo Freire
For students of colour navigating a predominantly white canon curriculum, taught within majority white lecturer departments, there is a difficulty faced when the work they choose to produce extends beyond the perpetuated Western narrative. I made this website because I found there was an absence of this type of list existing; representation of British South Asians should be greater than an arbitrary top ten list lazily selecting the same films. This resource has been created to offer a starting point from which the British South Asian experience can be accessed and discussed in a more informed way.