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Aidem Digital CIC, wins National Lottery support for Indian Independence project

Aidem Digital CIC, the social enterprise based at Innovation Birmingham Campus, has received £45,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project looking at Indian Independence and the impact on communities in Birmingham.

The project is titled as ‘The Reality of Partition’ – The Impact on Independence on Birmingham’.

The partition of India in 1947 resulted in the formation of two nations, India and Pakistan. With 70 years since the independence, a special film and exhibition are being created for the project to reflect and document the real stories told by Birmingham residents who experienced the hardship, life challenges and outcomes of the partition.

Led by the team of journalists from DESIblitz.com, the multi-award winning online British Asian magazine and working with volunteers from across the city, the project focuses on capturing the first-hand experiences of those who came to Birmingham owing to India’s declaration of independence. The project began in February and aims to finish in September 2017.

The stories collected will be used to create a permanent film archive that will be made freely available to current and future generations via DESIblitz.com and the Library of Birmingham. The project will culminate in a special screening of selected films alongside an opportunity to meet and talk to some of the contributors involved.

DESIblitz.com is Aidem Digital’s flagship project and the organisation works closely with young people, helping and nurturing them to develop digital media and online communication skills, such as online writing, video and photography.

The DESIblitz team are looking for local media students to support them in the project. A variety of opportunities are available, with the volunteers and project team receiving specialist training in oral history and archiving skills. Now is the time to capture these personal stories. Many have already been lost.

Working with the DESIblitz team, oral history professionals and archivists from the Library of Birmingham, Indian Independence participants will gain a deeper insight into this key period of history, the impact on those directly affected and the wider local community, as well as learn valuable new skills to use as they develop their careers.

Commenting on the award, Indi Deol, director of Aidem Digital CIC, said:

We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is essential we capture these stories before it is too late. This project will do just that as well as support young and old to be active citizens, and have pride in their heritage.

Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said:

We’re delighted that money raised by National Lottery players can enable Aidem Digital to explore the impact of Indian Independence, a part of the UK’s heritage that has often been overlooked. South Asian migration to the West Midlands has played a significant role in shaping the culture and heritage of the region. This project will<br /> acknowledge and record this history, as well as providing fantastic opportunities for young people to learn new skills for the future.