PCB – Polycultural Britain

TAS Research on Relevant Authors from Polycultural Britain

Dhingra, Leena

Dhondy, Farrukh

Iyer, Pico

Kunzru, Hari

Kureishi, Hanif

Nichols, Grace

Zephaniah, Benjamin


Onyekachi Wambu. “Black British Literature since Windrush.”British History in-depth. British Broadcasting Corporation, 2009.

Reference Books on Polycultural British Literature: IB and UB Holdings


Diaspora Artists Online Archive
The database “is an innovative online research and reference facility centred on visual arts practice by British or UK-based artists from a plurality of diasporic backgrounds.” (project description)

South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive (SALIDAA)
Archive of images related to South Asian and diasporean culture. ‘Although the archive does not constitute a comprehensive reflection of contemporary South Asian literature and arts in England, many of the individuals and organisations featured have played an important role in the development of the art forms covered in the archive.’ (website)

African and Asian Visual Arts Archive
AVAA had grown to become the most comprehensive slide archive of contemporary visual art by artists of African and Asian descent working in the UK since the post-war period.

Arts Council England: Publications
There are many reports on the situation of Black British artists among the publications commissioned by the Arts Council (Subject: Diversity). They can be downloaded for free.

Film and Television

Cary Rajinder Sawhney. “Asian-British Cinema: From the margins to mainstream.” BFI Screenonline.

Andrea Millwood Hargrave, ed. Multicultural Broadcasting: Concept and Reality. British Broadcasting Corporation, 2004. (pdf file)

British Screenonline (British Film Institute)
Website of the British Film Institute. Provides information on films and TV series produced in Britain (categorized by theme), as well as on actors and places. Offers great overview on post-war British television and cinema.
Education Zone: teaching material
Library and Research

British Film Institute: Black Cinema
A major national initiative led by the BFI to place creativity in the heart of world cinema/moving image practice by promoting black (African diaspora) film activity, and promoting awareness of the artistic, cultural and political context in which black international cinema has emerged.(website)

Black British Actors (Film Council)
Timeline of Black British Actors in the UK, compiled by Stephen Bourne


BBC Asian Network
“The Sound of Asian Britain”: Radio shows and reports, available as podcast

LKJ Records
Record label of musician/poet/activist Linton Kwesi Johnson
Johnson’s blog on current developments in Black British culture and politics.

Contexts: Post-War Britain

BBC-History: The Making of Modern Britain
Collection of short essays on Britain in the late 20th century, from the creation of the Welfare State to multiculturalism.

Diasporic Communities

Museum of London: Reasessing What We Collect Project
The Reassessing What We Collect online resource currently features over 800 objects linked to 42 communities who have settled in London from prehistory to the present day. (website) There are also concise essays on London’s ethnic communities, supplied with bibliographies.

Brighton and Hove Black History
Brighton and Hove Black History Project seeks to reveal Brighton and Hove’s hidden past and helps local people get involved in mapping their own history of Brighton and Hove.

The Sikh Cyber Museum
Virtual museum which focusses on the Anglo-Sikh relations over the last 300 years. The website has been funded by the Heritage Lottery fund and is managed by the council of Sikh Gurdwaras in Birmingham.

Sikhs in Scotland
website and portal for the Sikh community in Scotland

Diaspora Studies

South Asian Diaspora: Bibliographic Guides
Bibliography with a useful subject index of topics related to the South Asian diaspora

Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870-1950
The Making Britain Database is currently under construction and will be launched in summer 2010. It will house an annotated bibliography of selected materials relating to South Asian artists, writers, activists and organizations in Britain during the period 1870 to 1950.

This project analyses diasporic contact zones at the World Service. […] In fact, astonishingly little research exists on the historical and contemporary work of cultural brokerage and diplomacy performed by BBCWS. The Tuning In project plugs that gap. (Project description from website)

CASBAH- Caribbean Studies Black and Asian History
The CASBAH database is a catalogue of material on ethnic communities in Britain. It is a helpful tool for finding archival records across Britan.

Slave Trade in Britain

Bristol and Translatlantic Slavery
This well designed website contains detailed information on Bristol’s involvement in the slave trade era. It is a a further development of the 1999 exhibition “A Respectable Trade? Bristol & Transatlantic Slavery” at the Bristol City Museum

Revealing Histories
Partnership project of eight museums from the region of Manchester. Deals with British slavery in 7 thematic strands and combines digital images of historical artefacts, essays, and videos.

TAS Library Slavery and Slave Trade Section
Further resources on slavery and slave trade


“Born Abroad” (BBC)
Concise demographic information and maps of ethnic settlement.

Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group (University of Sheffield)
On the research group’s website offers studies on the social geography of Britain and access to data. Audiovisual material as well.

Black Presence Asian and Black History in Britain 1500-1850
Exhibition by the National Archives, UK. Brief and well illustrated introduction to the history of colonial immigration.

Moving Here – 200 Years of Migration
Moving Here explores, records and illustrates why people came to England over the last 200 years and what their experiences were and continue to be. It offers free access, for personal and educational use, to an online catalogue of versions of original material related to migration history from local, regional and national archives, libraries and museums.

Racism and Extremism

The Guardian: Race Issues
Up to date reports on issues related to race in the UK

Institute of Race Relations
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) was established as an independent educational charity in 1958 to carry out research, publish and collect resources on race relations throughout the world. In 1972, the IRR’s membership backed the staff in a radical transformation of the organisation from a policy-oriented, establishment, academic institution into an anti-racist ‘thinktank’. (Website)

Quilliam Foundation
The recently founded Quilliam Foundation “is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank. Located in London, our founders are former leading ideologues of UK-based extremist Islamist organizations. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, human rights, democracy and developing a Muslim identity at home in, and with the West.” (website) The website contains many brochures and online publications on Islamism. However, one should take note of the fact that the institution is partly funded by the British government.


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