Ugandan Asian Exhibition Wins Award!

The groundbreaking exhibition Rebuilding Lives commemorating the arrival in Leicester of thousands of Ugandan Asians in 1972 has been named joint best ‘Temporary or Touring Exhibition’ at the prestigious Museums + Heritage Awards in London.

Published: 23 May 2023

Rebuilding Lives: 50 Years of Ugandan Asians in Leicester formed the centrepiece of a programme of events, marking both the anniversary of the exodus of those fleeing the brutal dictator Idi Amin and the contribution made by the Asian community to Leicester’s culture and economy over the last half century.

Produced by Leicester-based arts organisation Navrang in partnership with the city council and delivered largely by a group of volunteers, Rebuilding Lives was the first South Asian exhibition of its kind to be shortlisted for the awards, earning huge praise from the judges.

It was also a hit with visitors, with more than 167,000 people visiting the exhibition during its nine-month run at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.

Ranjan Saujani, acting chair of Navrang, said: “We were honoured to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award, but to win is absolutely amazing! It’s a great way to acknowledge the hard work the team have put in to creating, developing and delivering a truly special exhibition. It’s the perfect way to end the project!”

Nisha Popat of Navrang added: “To win this award is a remarkable achievement. When you consider who we were up against and the huge budgets they had compared to ours, we never thought we’d actually win! Winning this award is the icing on the cake. We’re so proud of the exhibition, how it’s grown, how it’s really touched the hearts of the communities involved and how it’s been acknowledged by the museum and heritage sector.”

A close up look at one of the cases from the exhibition

A close up look at one of the cases from the exhibition

Navrang was awarded just over £100,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a series of regional events, including the exhibition. Leicester City Council contributed more than £100,000 to facilitate the exhibition, including creating a new dedicated display space for it in the former World Arts Gallery at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery.

Rebuilding Lives – 50 Years of Ugandan Asians in Leicester was named joint winner of the Temporary or Touring Exhibition category at the Museums + Heritage Awards along with English Heritage.

The winners were announced at an award ceremony – dubbed the ‘Oscars of the museum world’ – in London on Wednesday 10th May. A full list of 2023 winners is available here.

The exhibition when it was on display at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

The exhibition when it was on display at Leicester Museum & Art Gallery

Take a look back at the award winning exhibition from when it was on display with the 360 Gallery Viewer.