#12 Nepali/Gurkhali

April 5th, 2022

In this podcast we will follow the voice of Premila Tamang, presenting over 200 years of history between Nepal and Britain. Intended to make a clear introduction of Nepali/Gurkhali, a recent demography to be recognised within British society, as well as highlighting ongoing issues of Gurkha veterans, and the importance of identity as the diaspora integrate further here in the UK.

A man in a high-vis jacket with the words Justice For Gurkhas on the back stands in front of a protest crowd holding banners and umbrellas

Image: A man in a high-vis jacket with the works Justice For Gurkhas stands infront of a crowd of protesters with banners and umbrellas

About Diwas Dewan

As an artist Diwas Dewan is interested in making works that represent various Nepali/British experiences. He is inspired by many migrants who made their journeys and how they re-established themselves in the UK. So far, Diwas is aware his practice has always been about duels to enable himself to communicate simplifying dialogues. Him, being part of two cultures and languages must have something to do with it. Diwas is also a member of “Out The Window” an art collective with friends and many associates, all glad to be practising amongst each other here in Bristol.


Premila Tamang @punxdidi 

Gurkha Equal Rights @gurkhaequalrights

Premila Tamang aka Premila van Ommen, is a PhD Candidate in Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. Her research focuses on the impact of military Gurkha heritage in the cultural expressions of young Nepali men in the UK. She is also the director of the campaign group Gurkha Equal Rights. She is a member of the Haatemalo Collective, a global diasporic network of Nepali artists, academics and activists. She is also the curator of several online photo archival projects including Urban Arhats, founder of Himalayan food collective Yak Bites, and the Afro-Nepali arts movement MOMOLIFE.


Diwas Dewan: Instagram @chubbfire

Music, Edit and Mix

Rowan Bishop  – www.rowanbishop.co.uk/

Podcast Transcription

Diwas Dewan: Hey this is Diwas Dewan, on Loops. I’m an artist from Bristol and I’m interested in making works that can represent various Nepali/British experiences.

On this podcast I would like to introduce you to a prominent figure, our big sister Premila Tamang. Currently a PhD student, specialising in how children of Gurkhas in UK are exploring their heritage and practising cultural expressions. She’s also the Director of the campaign group Gurkha Equal Rights. All her involvements have been a terrific support for our elders and a massive inspiration to the younger Nepali generations.

Hope you’re ready to follow her voice, taking you back to early as 1800s to uncover over 200 years of history and understand the ongoing relation between Nepal and Britain.

Thank you for tuning in, you’re now listening to Loops podcast, brought to us by Caraboo Projects. Let’s go!

Premila Tamang: So I am now reading ‘Nothing Personal’ by James Baldwin, and a section of the writing that he’s written. So it says, ‘it is not accident that ancient Scottish ballads and Elizabethan chants are still hears in those dark hills, talk about a people being locked in the past, to be locked in the past means in effect, that no one has no past, since one can never access it or use it, and if one cannot use the past, one cannot function in the present, and so one can never be free.’

Hmm, that’s really interesting about, basically he’s saying, you know when he talks about ancient scholars Scottish ballads, or the value of these old stories, he’s talking about the value of how we need that, of historical understanding, because if we don’t know where we’re from it’s very difficult, it says here ‘if one doesn’t know the past you can’t really function in the present, and that, there’s always the quote, ‘history repeats itself’, so i think it’s very much about that, about how it is relevant to think about the Gurkhas, I’d say on a few levels. There’s the Gurkha history that’s relevant for the British public, and understanding, yes there’s 200 years of loyalty and friendship that the Gurkhas have had with Britain, with the crown, in a sense right, and how Gurkhas fought for Britain in so many wars, not just in the great world wars but even back in the 1800’s and Afghan wars and fought even in India, and then later post world war, one in 2 worked to fight in Malaysia and Brunei, and also protected British interests in Hong kong for so many years. Without the Gurkhas Britain wouldn’t be where it is right now. And then the Gurkhas themselves, the Nepalies also have to remember the history of their side. Why did Nepal sell its sons, or send its sons, away, and what was the context in which so many people would go and fight in strange lands for a queen they never met or knew about, there was no tele back in the day, what was the conditions the historical and social conditions that compelled young men to leave, so there is a lot of layers of historical, history that also needs to be recognised there. But it’s actually a special diplomatic treaty right, it’s actually a special condition in which Nepal is allowing a foregin country to recruit soldiers from its land. Nepal benefits from that as well. So that history also needs, for Nepali people to understand that in the way that ethnic minorities have been treated, and series of governments stand to benefit so much, as a poor country from the money that the uk government pays annually, which does not always filter to the rest of the people, so there’s these histories which i would say of 2 different nations, but certainly those 2 nations will need to understand where the Gurkhas were, how relevant they were in their own countries histories, and then there’s also the layer of family history itself. How older pensioners, veterans, widows, should share their experiences and pain, traumas and stories to the younger generations so they understand not to be placed in situations where they are not treated equally, or where their rights can be taken away so easily. So I would say it’s kind of like a threefold element that strikes me from this quote in the importance of histories and stories. But a lot of young people had no clue what was going on, even though i’m a little older including myself, and for me what inspired me first of all, just seeing very old pensioners walk the streets and protest, I’d never seen pensioners protest like that in my life. I do know that happens in the UK but to see from your own community doing that, and then all these soldiers, ex soldiers who are your grandfather’s age, just standing in the rain in really horrid conditions, not eating anything. 24 hour hunger strike was really a warning to the government saying, listen if you don’t do this within 13 days we’re going to be serious and are going to fast on to death. But even within the 24 hours when somebody is in their 60s and 70s standing out there, and the weather is so horrible, you get very concerned for their health, seeing how they were treated in the rain. The police took away the chairs of the old veterans, one of them is 75. People were made to sit on the wet floor all night, the veterans were not allowed to sleep, it’s against the rules so police would come and check to see…they were arbitrary, one of the nights when it’s the women, they left the women alone, they let the women sit on chairs and the let the women have umbrellas but they didn’t let the women sleep either.

Pushpa Rana Ghale, widow of a veteran. She was going to fly in from Nepal, and it was her first time in the UK as well, so she was flying in from Nepal and then she was under the obligatory quarantine rules. Poor woman, she was in England for the first time, and after the quarantine in the hotel I think she was only able to go out for 2 days not see much, then she went straight onto the hunger strike. And understanding that people were so dedicated that they would fly in from a different country, to put their lives on the line, that was really something.

One of the things that really caught my eye in the very beginning on the first day of the hunger strike, when i sat and got to talk to the veterans and introduce myself i said, ‘hey, im a phd student i want to find out about yong Gurkhas but obviously i see that you have had a lot of issues and I would like to learn from you.’ And he told me, ‘When I was in service, we learned how evil the Japanese were, you know we learned from our forefathers who fought in the world wars that it was a just war because we have to fight against Japan because Japan was taking over the world. What we didn’t realise was that as we started working for the British, the British were doing the same things to the world that they were saying the Japanese were doing.’ So it really made me think about colonialism and imperialism. I found that consciousness of empire quite interesting, that the veterans were quite aware about it. You know kind of, caught between a rock and a hard place. What I found interesting with the older generation and how they had so much to say, I was curious why they didn’t say it to their children. It feels that there was this disconnect between the older generation, and part of that is, i think, perhaps aspects of asian nepali culture where, as a parent you always want to be protective and so you don’t want to share sad stories or trauma to your children, so you act really strict, but actually there’s a lot of trauma underneath. A lot of the veterans here and a lot of the elderly pensioners in the UK who are from Gurkha backgrounds either as Gurkha veterans or they’re widows, or couples, they don’t really have much immediate family in the UK, they came after the settlement rights were achieved. But they were not allowed to bring their children. Because their children were already old and even fought for a long time to be allowed to bring children who were over 18. So because of that a lot of the, the largest bulk of suffering is from these pensioners who retired before 1997.

Then you have perhaps your fathers generations, who were able to come here and bring their children as teenagers just after 1997, so in a sense they got half equal rights, because the ruling from the Ministry of Defence regards Gurkha pensions is that there’s a pension scheme called the armed forces pension scheme, which is for those who retire after 1997, those before that were given the Gurkha pension scheme, and those who, you know if they were half and half in between then they were able to move toward the other armed forces pension scheme, so i think because most of the parental generation here, they still have a hug loss of pensions but not to the degree of the elders, and also they have wider networks with their children, established in jobs, even after their service whether its as a security guard, you know most of work like that. They don’t complain as much perhaps you know. Part of it is to say, we’re here now, lets get on with the job and lets not try to fight for everything and rock the boat, we have to be good citizens, especially when most of the nepalise here haven’t been here for many generations. Most Nepalese only started settling in the UK after 2004. So as a very new migrant community where it seems that the public has given you this good will to be able to settle in the country, the last thing you want to do is be shouting on the streets and saying it’s not enough. But it is quite interesting just how words like ‘imperialism’, ‘colonisation’, ‘racial discrimination’, they get used amongst even older people, id never heard that befor. And I think that is also the influence of Black Lives Matter, where people become a little bit less scared to point out racism, maybe that’s a better way of saying it. Cause you know Gurkhas have that really interesting space as an ethnic minority in the UK, as Gurkhas its almost another type of model minority, and often very zenophobic and negative stereotypes of different types of people, colour, but for Gurkhas suddenly it’s like, oh you’re a Gurkha, there’s all this fantasy and romance and idealism about what the Gurkha is. Almost sometimes as saviours of empire, saviours of different soldiers and wars you know, and Gurkhas have this very special place within Uk military history. But one of the things the Gurkhas are fighting for is the children’s rights, and dual citizenship, because they’re aware that if you are going to, they think OK, it’s great the British public loves us the Queen loves us, but how long is that going to last? One day something might happen where we’re going to get kicked out, and if we’re going to get kicked out, or maybe we’re not going to get kicked out but our children, maybe they do something wrong or whatever, they get kicked out, where are they going to go, where are they going to call home?

There’s a lot of veterans who were made redundant, far below the 15 year threshold in order to qualify for the pensions. As low as the pensions were, there’s many that don’t even have any pensions, and when I talk and they say, you know what, I might never get it because we were made redundant, but we’re still here to fight to be able to ensure a better future for our children.

The problem for the protests is that in British media, especially, you know last year, it’s all framed as a pension issues, but it’s not about pensions, it’s about racism, it’s about equality, it’s about the different inequalities that they experience. Something simple like not being able to see your family for 3 years. So Gurkahs could only see their family once every 3 years, and that’s on unpaid leave as well. Maybe they get to see their dad once every few years only, and because everyone that you go to school around the community you grow up with has people like that, it’s so normalised.

One man I spoke to, the 75 year old gentleman who was shivering in the rain, he quit the army because he wasn’t allowed to go home for his dad’s funeral, and in the end he thought that was more important.

Pensions, that’s very easy to quantify in numbers and you can say, ok pre-1997, this is how much British office within a rank gained per annum for pension, and it was almost always 1000% less for Gurkha equivalent, so how do you work out the maths or the time lost of family time, how do you work out the maths of someone’s psychology, the sort of trauma that, the everyday right to family life that other soldiers were awarded. Now if this was the case for all British army soldiers, or let’s say just overseas soldiers from the commonwealth, then you could argue that, this and that just comes with the job, and that’s just the way it is. But when it’s just the Gurkhas that are single out that way, in the terms of disruption of family dynamics, and it is also something that I hear about how men will gather together and how they cry, how they get drunk and will cry about not having seen their kid born, or having to miss out on their children’s lives but they will never say that to your face.

Other women in the hunger strike. Sayendra didi, I think she was 19 when she was widowed. She had her child very early but also was widowed very early so you have those who suffered from not even seeing their children grow up, but you also have widows who never even had that chance. And then to find out that they only get 60% from pensiones. When youre from a very very poor society you think, even if it’s tiny then it’s better than nothing, yeah. So that’s the story of women, is an even more silenced history, yeah. It was important to have a woman in the hunger strike as well to say, this is not just about pensions, not just about men.

Nepal has over 100 different languages, ethnicities and castes, and those aren’t dialects, they will have sub-dialects underneath them as well. At the time of the world wars actually, Nepalise of all races, ethnic backgrounds, all formed the Gurkha army, it wasn’t majority Magar, Gurung, Limbu or Rai these typical tribes that are now known to have a lot of Gurkha recruits. Britains always played with the idea of regional, of recruiting soldiers from particular regions as a way to rule or subjugate other areas, so Sikhs for example are also considered a martial race, and then the Masai in Kenya are also considered warriors under British Colonial constructs, so this idea of certain tribes or races becoming, you know, naturally born warriors, has been used quite a bit throughout british history. Anyway, moving back to the point of the Nepali caste system. Nepali caste system is a modified Hindu caste system. What happened was a little over 200yrs ago around the same time when Nepal decided to have treaties with Britain, when Nepal was becoming unified, these were done by conquest of rulers from west Nepal, and these were Hindu rulers. They decided one way to rule Nepal would be easier to have a 1 religion, 1 nation, 1 language policy. It was a dynasty that was ruling Nepal right, with Prithvi Narayan Shah considered the founding father of Nepal. And then this dynastic monarchy was then overthrown (it continued but was overthrown) by a new dynasty called the Ranas, this kid of family of Prime Ministers, one after the other, either the brother or the cousin or the son or something, that took turns in ruling Nepal, then that solidified even more what the caste system was going to be.

So then they created a law called the Muluki Ain, it was a codified law of different rules for the castes, and within that they divided the castes into, you had the Brahmins at the vert top, you had the Kshatriya, you know the warrior class. But where to put all these different tribes or ethic groups, that were originally not Hindu, how do you fit them in you know, are they an untouchable you know what are they? So this became the bulk of the Gurkha recruits as well, so these different castes, they decided to call them the Matwalis, do you know what Matwali means? Matwalis basically means ‘alcohol drinker’, or basically ‘alcoholics’, because you know a pure Brahmin would not touch alcohol right so we were the alcohol drinkers or the Matwalis, and this was also divided into 2, so you had the non- enslavable alcoholics and you had the enslavable alcoholic, and this was who knows a possibly divide and rule tactic, because the ethic groups that surrounded the capital of Kathmandu, the original ethnic groups who inhabited before the Rana and Shah rulers came over, the Newars the Tamangs, they are different groups around there, they were not allowed to join the Gurkha forces, and maybe it’s because if they got skills they’d take over the valley, who knows, and so then recruitment centres were on either side intsted, they were on the far east of Nepal where the Rais and Limbus where the Kirat peoples were and then in the west where the Gurungs and Magars were, and post world was what happened was its possible that the idea of the martial race became actually solidified post world war.

Pre world wars, Chhetris, anybody joined, almost 1 in 5 men or something like this, I’ll have to check, of Nelpalese went to fight in the different world wars and so many of them went missing as well, killed, wounded, missing, and you know that army was made up of everybody whether they were Chhetris or maybe poor Brahmins, it was all mixed. I was reading this old ethnography and research into Gurkha communities and especially past the world was those older veterans, their parents did not want there, because in the suffering experiences the horrors of war, they did not want their sons and children to join at all, and so Britain had to come up with different types of strategies, there’s stories of recruiters or strangers coming to Gurung villages for examples and mothers hiding away their children or telling their kids to go hide in the jungle before they can be captured and be made into soldiers. It’s a very different attitude from now where being a Gurkha soldier is the best and thousands of people compete for it right, a total 180 attitude, and part of the recruitment then what happened was, on the British side it’s much easier just to recruit, this isn’t written in stone, this is what’s implied right, it’s much easier to recruit people from certain areas when you have family networks. So this is why you have whole villages in East and West Nepal that come from particular tribes, it’s almost like someone’s a Gurkha one way or another. And being a soldier is a way to get out of that poverty. So what happened with these people is not only were people considered classified as ‘alcoholic races’ almost, it was so entrenched you had very sexist laws, so in law if you were say and upper caste Brahmin Hindu Brahmin man, and you were found to have a relationship with an untouchable or Matwalis, or somebody outside your caste, then you could be demoted, from a Brahmin to a Chhetris so your caste status is demoted and maybe you get 90 lashes publicly, both man or woman. But if you’re a lower caste man like Matwalis or an untouchable and you are found having a relationship with a high caste woman, a brahmin woman, then you get the death penalty. So youd have these very very strong anti-intermarriage laws. We think about South Africa and appartheid, they were very very strict laws against inter caste marriage in the old days, that keeps tribes within themselves, but it goes to show how entrenched the caste system was in how people were able to access services and get education, and so on and so forth, and this is still a problem in Nepal to this day.

There have been huge improvements but there are so many bits of remnants of the caste system, there are still not very good representation of different ethnic minorities in certain seats of power in the government. So the idea of the marital race: so basically the British considered certain races as naturally gifted warriors, but the didnt think of Nepalese as naturally gifted warriors from day one, there was this 200 year relationship, it kind of because strong and stronger over time, then after the world wars when Nepalese has won Victoria crosses, this just raised up the level of how Nepalese were conceptualised, then post world war the British were saying, ok certain, some of these Nepalese are martial races, and so they considered that the 4 groups, that’s 2 in the the west Magar and Gurung, and 2 in the the east which is the Rai and Limbu. They said OK these are the martial races they are the fiercest people in all of Nepal, which might sound like a great stereotype, but what happens is that created whole communities of generational recruitment into the army, and on one hand its helped raise some of these communities into better social economic levels with the money and experiences Gurkhas were able to bring from abroad, but on the other hand, it’s almost draining young men all the time, there’s always somebody ready to be recruited, and always an uncles who can teach you how to get you into an army or train you, make you run every morning so you’re well built or what not. So it becomes very difficult and especially once the Gurkhas have retired and they go back to the village there isn’t much of a life right, or they’ve realised they would like their kids to go to a good school, and all the things that goes back to the pensions, that the pensions are formulated because it’s considered fair, it’s kind of thinking of farmers level, a subsistence farmers level of pay, and that’s not enough for a farmer to, upon retirement with a pension to send their kids to good schools, so what happens is they realised there isn’t enough money so they’re going to go abroad again and work as manual labourers in different countries, it becomes very difficult for the communities to have so many absent young strong men.

The conditions obviously have been so much better than the world wars, and because people are able to bring consumer goods back into very poor villages, it becomes glamorous and a bit of an adventure for young men to aspire to, it’s a way to get out of poverty. I mean the villages and the ethnic communities and their localities from with many of the Gurkhas come from, because they’ve been historically marginalised as these alcoholic castes in the first place, this is why they were poor, if they came from very well off families or had decent standards of living, no one would feel compelled to go out into the world and become a soldier you know. I know what’s putting it in very simplistic terms and at the moment there are exceptions to everything, but it makes you think about the marital race. And the martial race was one way to pivot the English. There’s different literature on it, there’s a very good one by an anthropologist named Lionel Caplan, it’s called ‘Warrior Gentlemen, the Gurkhas in Western Imagination’. The martial race itself as a concept was an imperial construct which was not just for Nepalese but was also used with different ethnic groups that the British, in areas the British were looking to rule. There are also different feminist scholars who have written about the notion of the marital race, and with Gurkhas, and how they look at it from a feminist perspective where they look at it as a way to sort of imasculate the populations that the British were subjecting. So for example, great yeah Nepalese have this stereotype as the martial race, so they would write about how Nepalese or Gurkhas are so manly, on one hand being an alcohol, drinking, being a Matwalis is not great in Nepal’s society under what the ruling classes view as appropriate or cultured people, but on the other hand, for the British it was like oh yeah here’s guys we can have a pint with, these are guys that also have a good laugh they’re manly they’re fierce, they’re not like these Indians who don’t drink much alcohol, they’re not like these feminine Indians, you know the way, i mean i’m not saying that’s what they are but that’s the kind of material that they wrote, and it’s one way to really use one group to subjugate another for empire right, and it’s a way to dehumanise Indians and it’s a way to humanise the rest of people as well to say that they were not real men or not manly enough.

‘In the British army the superiority of one regiment over another is mainly a matter of training, the same courage and military instinct are inherent in English, Scotch and Irish alike, but no comparison can be made against a remnant recruited amongst the Gurkhas of Nepal or the war like races of northern India and of one recruited from the effeminate people’s of the south.’- You know martial races is also quite a divide and rule tactic to put it in the simplest terms, because as you mentioned Nepalese who have been recruited, you know all the ethnic groups who have been recruited as warriors as soldiers do not have a military background, aside from those recruited its not as if Tamangs or Rais or Limbus were always at war for centuries and always being warriors, no most of them were subsistence farmers, yeah. And it’s about where can you find a cheap deal as one veteran said, Sam Thakuri a wonderful veteran that I met and he said, ‘we were the cheapest of the cheap’, and in terms of diplomatic history, not the martial races but the Rana’s were also very good at understanding that the British needed Nepali recruits especially in the world wars, there are all these old historical documents and codal language, really where the Rana’s were bargaining with Britain about getting more money out of being able to send more Nepalis, and Nepalis themselves who were becoming, who became soldiers didn’t really get much money at all, but the Rana government certainly did and they kind of bargained Nepali bodies that was, so that’s why this scholar Mary Deschene calls Gurkhas diplomatic currency. And they created regiments that were purely based on the caste the British, so if you were in the 7th Gurkha rifles for example I think they were mainly Rai, then you’d have a different Gurkha rifle and that’s mainly all Gurung they thought that by recruiting people from the same areas right, you have already these ties these cultural understandings, language, shared tribal languages, it makes it easier to command a unit that way.

So that’s what was done, it could have easily been some other group, it wasn’t some inherent quality, but that doesnt mean to say one shouldn’t have pride in the sort of legacy that was created afterwards. In a sense maybe one was made a martial race, not that one was a martial race to start with. And it’s also very easy for the Nepal government, being Hindy Rana rulers, I mean who are you going to sell off easily right, you’re going to sell off the people that are ethnic minorities that are quite expendable in a sense, they didn’t allow lots of different Hiindu groups for example to become Gurkhas, it was the non-Hindu groups, that maybe to be made into Hindu assimilation, or expendable or both, I’m sure there’s a lot of different factors at play. But whatever the reasons were and there are many it all still points to how very marginalised ethnic minorities were exploited.

Most of these men left as teenagers, so the years of their life where they themselves, if they were living in the village could have learned about a lot of different cultures or rituals, or you know been able to continue to speak their tribal language, they also weren’t afforded that luxury in a sense right. For them what they saw as a luxury, so. Ones of these uncles said, Gurkhas were neither here nor there, I’m not fully Nepali, I’m not really English either, i don’t know what I am, because since I was so young I have to go round the world and go to different places i didn’t really have time to develop my cultures. And then that history is important even in the way we move forward in our culture.

The exploitation of Nepal’s ethnic minorities due to the caste system as well, explains a lot of other aspects of Nepali history as well, when the Rana’s were ruling for example, ethnic minority people were not even allowed to go to school and you could be jailed for reading a book. It’s a great way, if people are not educated, to keep them down and it explains why even for Nepali language, a lot of writing and intellectual… literature and things like that, it bloomed in India where people went into exile instead. And in one way or another, anybody with any Nepali roots, that Gurkha history is part of our identity to some degree. So Gurkhas have been such a major part of different formations of world history. I have already seen the fetishistation of Nepaliness and Nepali history here with the diaspora, this is always the case with, we always want to know the best about ourselves right. And there’s a very sad saying by one of the veterans who said Gurkha blood is shed all over the world. And so it’s important that when you have that pride to also honour that history, to not just have that history as rhetoric, right. And then how to be able to hold that honour, so that enthic heritage and stories and remembering is a joint process, not just the younger generation in the diaspora that find it difficult to understand their parents culture but they have to understand their parents cultures themselves were quite repressed, or oppressed. And so the parents themselves are in this mode of what anthropologists call like, ethnic revivalism. So you are asking a question on cultural transmission, and transmission of traditions for example and heritage and stories, and that’s a struggle for every generation.

I think there are several ways, understanding military history. We can read it in books and certainly that is really really important. There is so much literature online that is starting to develop, and books that we can, are slowly being written about it is quite new. There are alot of old books on Gurkhas written by British military officers which will only speak in terms of stereotypes but the critical pieces of Gurkhas is very few, but it’s growing and it can easily be found online as well. And then the other aspect is actually to speak to veterans to speak to different family members, ask them their experiences. There’s a living history, and sometimes that can even be richer than any of the books that you’re going to read. And you understand the price, and when you understand the sacrifices that have been made and that the price that even your fathers, your forefathers, their wives widows grandmothers, everybody has had to pay, that will help you understand your situation more and how to make a difference in the future, you know how to stand up for others people rights how to stand up for your own rights, how to understand that you are where you are because of particular conditions in history.

How are we going to be treated when we’re old pensioners right? Are we also going to be neglected and discarded even though we think everything is fine right now? So these are the important lessons to be able to learn from history, to try and fight for what we can now in order to ensure a better future. I mean this is what every Gurkha soldier has always done.

Diwas Dewan: A big thank you to Premila didi for guiding us through such deep history and giving us clarity on present situations. Gratitude to our elders, who’ve been the main source of inspiration, we owe it all to you. Lastly, a massive thank you to Caraboo Projects for the opportunity and support. It means a lot to have our voices heard.

Rowan Bishop: This episode was made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England