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									             Swadhinata Trust
              Annual Report

          May 2007 – May 2008



Creating a Centre for Excellence in Bengali Arts, Research &
                         Education




 Swadhinata means freedom & is pronounced Sha dhi no tha
The Swadhinata Trust's objects are to advance the education of the public
generally, and of young people of Bengali origin in particular, including but not
limited to Bengali secular culture, history and traditions.

Patrons
Prof John Eade, Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity &
Multiculturalism (CRONEM), Universities of Surrey and Roehampton

Prof Chetan Bhatt, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University
of London

Trustees
Chairperson: Ansar Ahmed Ullah
Secretary:   Julie Begum
Treasurer:   Abdul Shahid

Tunu Miah
Sayfur Rahman Shamim
Kazi Ruksana Begum
Bilkis Begum Mosoddik
Jamil Iqbal
Lovely Khanom
Nasrin Begum (resigned in Feb 2008)




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Activity Report
2 May 2007
Swadhinata Trust celebrated the birthday of the late Jahanara Imam, the
founder of Nirmul Committee.




18 May 2007
Teaching Pack launch

Tales of Three Generations of Bengalis in Britain: Teaching Pack launched at
Toynbee Hall.

Presentations were made by John Pulman, Swadhinata Trust’s webmaster
and authors Lee Jerome and Bhavini Algarra, authors of the Teaching Pack,
Wendy Forrest, Director, THE Hub: Tower Hamlets 14-19 Partnership as well
as a performance by Suzana Ansar, one of the interviewee Swadhinata’s Oral
History Project. The Oral History Project was developed with young people
and John Eade, Professor of sociology and anthropology at Roehampton
University, to record the memories of older generations of British Bengalis.

Altab Ali: The forgotten story of a racist murder-a short film made by Bhavesh
Hindocha of Loud Minority with students from Tower Hamlets Summer
University was screened.




Stratford & Newham Express



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7 July 2007
Jamil Iqbal, Project Manger of Oral History Project
& Ansar Ahmed Ullah, Chairperson attended and
gave a presentation on Swadhinta’s Oral History
Project at Oral History Society AGM held on the 7
July at the London Metropolitan University.




October 2007
Swadhinata Trust officially became a registered charity.

August 2007
In August the Mayor of London launched ‘India Now’, a three month season of
activities exploring India’s culture and its contribution to London life. The
Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who helped to unveil and share the impact of
Asian culture in London with many more people were at the London Mela on
12 August and displayed Swadhinta Trust’s ‘Tales of Three Generations of
Bengalis in Britain’ as a case study.

Here is some text from the case study:

The project encouraged the older first generation and younger second and
third generations to talk and compare community life today with past
traditions, music and culture. The elders were interviewed by younger
participants and their memories of the past recorded.

Prior to the project there was little documentation of Bengali heritage in
London. This work has provided historians and the wider community with a
wealth of material about the history of Bengali-speaking communities in the
UK, but also helped to bridge the gap between the old and young to help
community cohesion.

Ansar Ahmed Ullah comments; ‘We explored the developments of Bengali
music and culture by letting younger Bengalis interview older artists who
explained their interest in traditional music from Bangladesh, and discussed
their views on the younger generation’.




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18 November
Sylhet in London charity event

                                         A Facebook group called Sylhet in
                                         London organised a charity event to
                                         raise money for orphans in
                                         Bangladesh (The Mahmuda Afruz
                                         Orphanage and Education Complex
                                         Trust in Khalisfur, Moulvi Bazar,
                                         Sylhet) to give the orphans better
                                         accommodations and education
                                         facilities.

                                      The group invited the Swadhinata
                                      Trust to come and present the Trust,
its aims and ideas and encourage participation and involvement from the
people attending the event.

Bilkis Begum Mosoddik was one of the host of the event and Julie Begum
gave a presentation on the work of Swadhinata Trust. Friends of Swadhinata
Trust contributed generously to the charity.

27 January 2008
On Holocaust Memorial Day, 27 January
2008, The Jewish East End Celebration
Society, supported by the Borough of
Tower Hamlets, organised a very special
commemoration in the East London Central
Synagogue in Nelson Street, London E1.
Representatives from all faiths spoke
movingly on the significance the day had for
their communities.

Swadhinata Trust assisted by providing
speakers and circulating info to all members.

February 2008
Oral History Project recordings deposited at Bishopsgate Institute archive and
other items & artefacts will be deposited.

3 April 2008
As part of late @ Museum in Docklands organised Sounds of the
Underground event on the 3 April 2008.




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The 1990s saw the explosion of Asian underground music in East London. It’s
now been fifteen years since East London rappers, Asian Dub Foundation,
first formed. The event included live performance, DJs and chat in celebration
of the ‘conscious clubbing scene’ and brought together the key performers,
music historians and DJs to reminisce about the local roots and politics of this
global music phenomenon.

Sonia Kumari Mehta, manager of ADFED (the education wing of ADF) and
Hindi vocalist performed an acoustic set accompanied by a tabla player.
Performers were joined by Julie Begum, Gen Sec - Swadhinata Trust and Ash
Sharma (cultural critic and author of Disorientating Rhythms) for a
conversation with the editor of Untold London about the highs and lows of the
Asian underground.

14 April 2008

Bengali New Year celebration on the 14th April 2008 held at the Brady Art
Centre, London E1.

Programme included, formal opening, offering of Bengali sweets, children art
competition, exhibition and cultural programme.

Organised in partnership with Bengali New Year Celebration Council which
included the following organisations, Bishwa Sahityo Kendra, Kabi Nazrul
Centre, Udichi Shilpi Gosthi, Satyen Sen School of Performing Arts,
Swadhinata Trust, Betar Bangla, Dhishwar, Kalyan, Nari Chetona, Link
Bangla, Prachchyo Bani, Bangla Shahitya Parishad, Bengali International,
Dristipat, Shobdapath, Sitar Fusion and Bhumij.

April – May 2008
Bangladesh 1971: A photographic
exhibition and film season at Rivington
Place, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3BA

This was a major documentary
photographic exhibition of Bangladeshi
photographers that focused on the
independence struggle in 1971. The
exhibition was produced by Autograph ABP
in partnership with Shahidul Alam of Drik.
This was the first comprehensive review in
the UK of one of the most important
conflicts in modern history.

Swadhinata Trust was contacted during research and consulted prior to the
exhibition and provided assistance in publicising the event.




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Website
The website www.swadhinata.org.uk originally designed by East London
University students have been redesigned and is being regularly updated by
John Pulman, Swadhinata’s webmaster.

Bilkis Begum Mosoddik has been involved with looking at the website with a
view to redesigning it as it is currently looking old and much of the information
is difficult to find. Bilkis is also looking to move the website into a content
management system so that it is easier for members of the Trust to update
the information.

Nature of enquiry via website


                                                       Nature of enquiry via website

                                   English grammar
             Request to perform         enquiry                           Research about the
                                                     Wishing to contact
                 in the UK                                                Bengali community
                                                       Oral History
                                                       interviewees
        Request for medical                                                 Research on
            assistance                                                      Bengali food

        Interested in                                                                   Research on
         Swadhinata                                                                     Bangladesh
       Teaching Pack
     Interested in
 partnership working                                                              Research on
                                                                                 Bengali children

                                                                                     Research on
   Bengali translation                                                              Bangladesh war

                                                                                     Research on
   Study tour to Brick                               Consultation about              Bengali music
          Lane                                          the Bengali
                                                        community
                                                                                        Research on
        Enquiry about          Interested in the                                       Baishakhi Mela
       Swadhinata oral        work of Swadhinata
        history project
                                                                           Research on
                                                                           radicalization
                                             Career advice




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Source of enquires

Universities                                         5
University students                                  5
Media                                                9
Museums                                              5
Research institutes                                  3
Community initiatives                                8

Ethnicity

                                                             Ethnicity
            8

            7

            6

            5

            4

            3

            2

            1

            0
                                                                                                 Sri Lankan


                                                                                                              Caucasian
                                               Bangladeshi




                                                                                  South Asian
                                     Bengali




                                                               Bengali

                                                                         Indian
                British


                          White




                                                               Indian




Gender

                                                             Gender


                                  Male
                                  32%




                                                                                                Female
                                                                                                 68%




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Age group

                                           Age group


                10


                   9


                   8


                   7


                   6


                   5


                   4


                   3


                   2


                   1


                   0
                       Under 20s



                                   20s



                                              30s



                                                       40s



                                                                50s




Enquiries made outside of the UK

                                           Country

              Kenya                 India
               5%                   16%                               USA
                                                                      33%


 Singapore
    5%


  Sri Lanka
     5%


         Holland                                                            Bangladesh
          5%                                                                   16%
                        France                         Canada
                          5%             Sweden
                                                         5%
                                           5%




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Region breakdown of Enquiries made in UK


                         70
                                                                                            62

                         60


                         50
   Number of enquiries




                         40


                         30


                         20


                         10
                                     1           1           1         1           1

                         0
                              Bradford   Portsmouth   Leicester   Richmond   Hackney    Tower
                                                                                       Hamlets



Office Space
The new address of the 50b Swadhinata Trust is 50b Greatorex Street
London E1 5NP. This is the office premises of M M S & Associates.

In March 2008 M M S & Associates decided to leave its premises at 50b
Greatorex Street resulting in Swadhinata Trust’s loss of office.

Finance
Finance Report for the year ended 28 Feb 2008, prepared by M M S &
Associates.




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Acknowledgement
The Swadhinata Trust is grateful to the following for their support:

      Heritage Lottery Fund & London Borough of Tower Hamlets for funding
      M M S & Associates for providing office premises
      Bhavesh Hindocha for the screening of Altab Ali film
      Lee Jerome and Bhavini Algarra who designed our teaching pack
      Bilpob & Shahed at Fairkey, our printers
      Wendy Forrest, Director, THE Hub: Tower Hamlets 14-19 Partnership
      Carmel Littleton, Tower Hamlets Service Head: Young People &
       Learning
      Hilary Hughes - Community Development Officer, London Borough of
       Tower Hamlets
      Nasim Ahmed, Principal External Funding Officer, London Borough of
       Tower Hamlets
      Sara Wajid, Untold London Website Manager, London Museums Hub
      Bishopsgate Institute, our partner and archiving Tales of Three
       Generations of Bengalis in Britain
      Oral History Society for inviting us at their annual conference
      Sunahwar Ali, our ex Chairperson for continually supporting us
      John Pulman, our webmaster
      Museum in Docklands shop, Eastside Bookshop & Newham Book
       Shop, our books outlet
      Maher Anjum, our consultant
      Mohamud Ahmed, Capacity Building Advisor, Community
       Organisations Forum (COF)
      Amir Hussain of Calibre Associates for storing our stuff until we find a
       new home
      Press & media for coverage of our activities
      and all our partners, members, volunteers and supporters




Swadhinata Trust
M M S & Associates
50B Greatorex Street
London E1 5NP

Tel: 07956 890689, 07908 376252, or 07958 325826
Email: admin@swadhinata.org.uk
Web: www.swadhinata.org.uk

Charity number 1103890

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