Kavi Pujara: This Golden Mile

In a new photobook and exhibition, Pujara explores themes of home, identity, and Britishness in the city’s Indian community. This Golden Mile presents new work by Kavi Pujara. Photographed against the backdrop of Brexit, the Windrush scandal, and a government intent on reducing net migration, Kavi documents Indian migration to Leicester, new and old, exploring themes of identity, home, and Britishness.

Kavi was born in Leicester in the early 1970s, just ten minutes from the Golden Mile, and would visit most weekends to see his grandmother. It was a time when overt acts of racism – being spat at, chased by the National Front, being called ‘wog’ or a ‘paki’, and being told to ‘Go back home’ – were common. As soon as he turned 18, Kavi moved to London and never looked back. When he did return, nearly 30 years later with his young family, making pictures allowed him to rediscover the community he grew up in but no longer knew. The resulting work became This Golden Mile. Kavi was one of four recipients of the MPF 2020 bursaries, which he received to support the development of this project.

This Golden Mile is not about the one-mile stretch of Melton Road that turns into Belgrave Road with its sari shops, Indian restaurants and jewellers. It’s about the arteries and veins that come from it, giving life to the parts of the neighbourhood away from the central commercial thoroughfare. This Golden Mile exists in the poetry of homes, temples and street corners; it’s down the alleys and through the gaps in steel fencing leading to crumbling industrial plots. This Golden Mile is both an entry point and an ending, the last mile of a long journey to Britain.” – Kavi Pujara

Signed copies of This Golden Mile the photobook, published by Setanta Books 2022, are now available for pre-order from the MPF online shop.

“For over fifty years, families around This Golden Mile have had a shared experience of migrating to Leicester and have re-articulated their South Asian identity to exist within an English context. These experiences bond this community, and they bond them to me. I made this work to give voice to that bond, and I also hope it will contribute to the conversation around immigration to Britain. We have a multicultural society because Britain is the product of a multicultural empire. Communities like this are not an erosion of British values or its culture, but a vital artery in our intertwined and tangled colonial histories.” – Kavi Pujara

About the Author

Kavi Pujara (born Leicester, 1972) is a self-taught photographer. He works as a film editor for the BBC alongside independently making personal, long-term documentary photo projects. His work has been included in the touring group exhibition Facing Britain.

A portrait of Kavi Pujara

British documentary photography since the 1960s which has been exhibited at Museum for Photography, Krakow, Poland, Mönchehaus Museum Goslar, Germany and Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany. Sept 2021 – Jan 2022. Pujara was one of the winners in the British Journal of Photography, Portrait of Britain 2020 and recipient of a Martin Parr Foundation photographic bursary in 2020. Two portraits from This Golden Mile have been selected for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 exhibition and will be on display at Cromwell Place, London from 27 October – 18 December 2022. This Golden Mile will be his first solo exhibition and his first monograph.

Kavi Pujara: This Golden Mile
06 OCT – 18 DEC 2022
Martin Parr Foundation – Bristol – UK

Hardcover: 116 pages, 57 photographs
Publisher: Setanta Books (2022)
Language: English
Size: 8.66 x 10.43 inches

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