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Southall Resists 2024 exhibition

Wed 24 Apr 2024
Hundreds of children attended the Southall Resists 2024 exhibition at Villiers High School, on the anniversary of Blair Peach's tragic death.

It was part of an initiative designed to promote and teach local history in primary and secondary schools in Southall. The main emphasis being the experiences of migrant communities during the 1960s and 70s, particularly the discrimination that many faced while beginning a new life here.

Janpal Basran (Southall Community Alliance) and Suresh Grover (The Monitoring Group) led the local history sessions that probed into significant events of the era. These sessions held in various schools across Southall covered the murder of Gurdip Singh Chaggar, the 1979 Southall Uprising, and the tragic death of Blair Peach.


On Tuesday 23rd April 2024, 'Southall Resists Day', Suresh Grover said "Today after months of working together with 13 local schools and to commemorate both Blair Peach and Gurdian Singh Chaggar, over 300 schools children presented their extraordinary artwork, essays and hope at Villiers High School, organised by Southall Resists. You will Love Southall."

Artist Mahenderpal Sorya had the privilege of leading follow-up art workshops inspired by the lessons children had absorbed. The result was hundreds of remarkable artworks, spanning silk painting, sculpture, murals, 3D collage, and more.

They have created an online version of the exhibition and film, accessible for viewing. Additional in-person iterations of the exhibition will take place later in the year.

'Young Voices' is a film produced as part of the aforementioned initiative, aimed at promoting and teaching local history in Southall schools. This available on the above website and on Youtube.


Mahenderpal Sorya said "Schools we've been able to work with have been absolutely amazing. It's been such a privilege working with so many schools. Staff and students at Villiers High School worked so hard to help put on the exhibition. Sixth formers were great in helping assist visitors. Special thanks to Mrs Gopali Nagi (Senior Assistant Headteacher)."

"We look forward to building on this important work and continuing to support local schools connect with local history."

Three Bridges Primary School said "Every year, Year 6 study our local history, with a focus on the Southall Uprising. This year, it's been a privilege to be part of Southall Resists, with the children expressing what they've learned through art, essays and spoken words."


Greenford High Schol said "Thirty students from Green High School Year 8 were lucky enough to partake and visit the Southall Resists Art Exhibition, at Villiers High School, commemorating the deaths of Blair Peach and Gurdip Chaggar alongside Southall’s defiant stand against racism. It was a lovely event and a massive thank you to Villiers for welcoming us into their school community."

Featherstone High School said "Year 7s joined 100s of other children for the Southall Resists Day to mark the 45th anniversary of the Southall uprising and death of Blair Peach. A truly memorable day."

Khalsa Primary School said "Our year six pupils were proud to represent the school today at the Southall Community Alliance exhibition. It was great to see our artwork displayed alongside so many others from Southall schools. Thank you to Villiers High School for hosting us."

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