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Mapping Migrant Trajectories: A Study of South Asians in Diaspora through the Bradford High Street

Part 2 Dissertation 2022
Mohsin Ali
Manchester School of Architecture Manchester | UK
This research paper looks to the reconceptualisation of the B. Sandford Taylor Photography Studio (also known as the ‘Belle Vue Studio’) on Manningham Lane in Bradford as a trans-global high street space in a post-colonial dialogue between centre and diaspora. The studio is analysed as an architecture of memory, diaspora, and of transversal dialogue, through dialectical readings of the studio’s archive portraits. These readings ascertain the complex migrant geographies and histories to tell of the formation of a South Asian-British identity in Bradford, and largely support existing post-colonial discourse around how new diasporic ethnicities form as a mediation between global geographies. This research uses ethnography as a language in articulating these dialogues, with the study arranged around a participatory workshop with first and second-generation Pakistani migrants in Bradford as collaborators in reading the archive. The participants’ readings found that the high street space can be recognised as an entire world of exchange, where global territories, identities, and spatial histories of South Asian diasporaisation intersect.
Mohsin Ali

Huda Tayob
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