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Citizen UK: Bangladesh 50 Years

Commemorating 50 years of Bangladesh Independence with Tower Hamlets

বাংলা সাবটাইটেল সহ ভিডিওটি দেখুন


In Spring 2021, we are commemorating 50 years of the independence of Bangladesh in partnership with Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archive. Working with artist Ruhul Abdin and digital producers Rainbow Collective, volunteer Citizen Researchers from the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets have been delving into the local archives to explore the role people in Tower Hamlets played in the independence of Bangladesh and the legacy of the events of 1971 on the local community. Drawing on their research, family histories and generational reflections, the project will culminate in the creation of collaborative artwork, which will be displayed locally in May 2021.


Ruhul Abdin artwork

The Artwork

Artist Ruhul Abdin is working with the Citizen Researchers to create a collaborative piece of artwork in response to  their research. The final work will be displayed in Tower Hamlets in May 2021 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Independence Day of Bangladesh.

Hear from the artist 





Missing voices from Tower Hamlets

The 1920s is the earliest example of a photographic record of South Asians in East London, but even after this date it is still very difficult to find references to Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis, Bengalis, Sylhetis in the archive.

Throughout the workshops we have been asking why these groups are not represented in the archives.

Find out more





Citizen researcher still

Bangladesh liberation in photographs

Photographs showing the call for recognition of Bangladesh as a nation state are an important record of the strength of support for Bangladesh liberation in the UK. Yousuf Choudhury collated a series of images from 1971 through to early the 2000s captured across London, Coventry, Birmingham and Dhaka. 

Explore the images

Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives have put together a series of events in relation to Bangladesh 50 Years, including National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator of Photographs, Magda Keaney.

All events are free, to book a place visit the Idea Store website.

Explore the programme




Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Art Fund


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