British Bhangra: A Symposium

15 September 2007 10am – 6pm, S.O.A.S., University of London

British Bhangra is a genre of popular music that fuses Punjabi beats, music and lyrics, UK pop, RnB, reggae and other world sounds. Its history in Britain dates back to the immediate post-war period when migrants from the Punjab, India, resettled their lives and homes in the UK. In the post-00s the music can now be heard across the soundscapes of multicultural cities around the globe, to mainstream fashion and advertising, and even in the songs and music of Bollywood films. British Bhangra’s centres of music industry are increasingly located in Birmingham and London, from where its musical products are distributed and performed internationally. Yet, this recent visibility is also marked by a history of cultural racism, community politics and a music and cultural industry that has struggled to stake its place in British popular culture. This one day symposium brings together leading international practitioners, artistes and academics who have been involved in producing and charting the story of British Bhangra music and its industry. The event will include panel presentations with Q&A as well as a roundtable discussion with all participants.


Welcome 10am

Keynote Address: Dr Rajinder Dudrah, University of Manchester, 10.10-11am.

Coffee break

Panel 1 British Bhangra: An Historical Overview 11.20am-1pm

Dr Rupa Huq, Kingston University

Dr Sanjay Sharma, University of Brunel

Dr Virinder Kalra, University of Manchester

Kash Sahota – BBC Radio Aaj Kal Programme – Chair

DJ Ritu – BBC Home Counties

Lunch 1 – 2pm

Panel 2 British Bhangra Now 2.00 – 3.30pm

Ninder Johal, Nachural Records, Birmingham

DJ San- j – Sanj, Xzecutive Soundz, London

Hard Kaur- Artist, Birmingham,

Bobby Friction – Desi DNA/BBC Radio 1 – Chair

Boy Chana – Photographer & Journalist

Mark Strippel – BBC Asian Network

Coffee break

Roundtable Discussion 4 – 5pm

With panellists and Q&A from the audience Chaired by Dr Rajinder Dudrah

Book launch: Rajinder Dudrah ‘Bhangra: Birmingham and Beyond’ (with wine reception) 5 – 6pm

For more info contact John Hollingsworth at the Brunei Gallery on 0207 898 4915 or log onto

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