New Cartographies: Learning from SADDA 

New Cartographies builds on SADAA’s archival collections to catalyse wider engagement with, and learning from, significant artists who emigrated from South Asia to live and work in Britain.


The project

SADAA is a national archive that conserves, digitises, and shares the work of first generation British South Asian artists. SADAA is based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 

In 2021, SADAA embarked on the National Lottery Heritage-funded Reunited Project to document and archive the work of significant artists who emigrated from South Asia to live and work in Britain. Gathering audio-visual materials, periodicals, and oral history testimonies from artists active in the 1980-90s, SADAA’s Reunited Project preserves vital histories at risk of being lost. The New Cartographies project asks how SADAA’s collections can be activated to spark wider engagement with the histories documented in its collections as well as a more comprehensive understanding of Britain’s recent past. 



Aiming to catalyse wider engagement with, and learning from, SADAA’s Reunited project, New Cartographies will engage these archival materials to produce a GCSE-targeted educational resource. Between June and July 2022, the project will support SADAA’s efforts to collect and catalogue periodicals, audio-visual documentation, and oral histories. This primary source research will be the basis for developing an educational resource designed to supplement and expand Modern History GCSE curricula.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (BMAG) Engagement teams and local educators will be consulted to ensure the educational resource packet can be effectively used in workshops and Birmingham schools. It will be produced in an accessible online and PDF format, launched in January 2023, and distributed to schools in the BMAG partner network.

Research lead

Kylie Gilchrist, University of Manchester, School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures, Art History



The project will result in a packet of educational resources that will be shared with local schools in the BMAG partner network, catalysing wider public engagement with SADAA’s resources among young people and educators. It will further support SADAA’s future educational and outreach work by providing a set of adaptable activities that the organization can use to design programmes for young people and teachers.

Educators who use the resource will benefit from a pre-designed series of activities that allow them to easily incorporate arts-based learning that supports them to meet GCSE learning objectives, while also expanding the standard curricula with a diversified view of recent British history.

Students who participate in educational activities developed from the resource will be introduced to the practices and histories of significant British-South Asian artists, widening arts access among young people who might not otherwise participate in the arts and heritage fields. It will further support young people in developing a more comprehensive and diversified understanding of Britain’s recent past.


Start Date: 1 June 2022

End Date: 30 January 2023

Scheme: NWCDTP Researcher-Led PhD Placements scheme.