'Beyond Bollywood' to Showcase Indian American Experience
Washington: The rich history of immigrants from India and Indian Americans and their many contributions to the US will be brought to life here through an upcoming exhibition, "Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation".
Scheduled to open in late 2013, the exhibition will showcase the Indian American experience and the many dynamic roles they have played in shaping American society and culture through a collection of photographs, artefacts, videos, interactive stations and stories.
"The Indian American story has yet to be fully told," said Konrad Ng, director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Centre, which is mounting the exhibition with New Jersey-based TV Asia network serving South Asians across the US and Canada as the media sponsor.
"Visitors of all ages will leave the exhibition with a deeper understanding of this vibrant community as they strive to realise life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in America. This exhibition is about celebrating a community that embodies the American spirit."
"Beyond Bollywood" will occupy more than 5,000 square feet of space at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Over a two-year period the exhibition is expected to draw more than seven million visitors before embarking on a national tour in 2015.
The largest project undertaken by the Smithsonian Centre in its 15-year history, it is is the first to focus on Indian American culture. "The success of this initiative relies greatly on our ability to engage the public in the months leading up to the exhibition opening," said Ng. "By partnering with TV Asia, we have taken an important step in increasing the public's knowledge and understanding of this exhibition."
"'Beyond Bollywood' is a project of monumental significance to our community and TV Asia," said H.R. Shah, chairman and CEO of TV Asia, as it supplements TV Asia's mission to promote and celebrate the community and its achievements in the US.
"There is still some public perception that we as Indian Americans are foreigners or outsiders in the US," said Masum Momaya, curator of the exhibition. "But history shows the opposite is true. We've been here since the earliest days of the nation and had our hands in building it to what it is today-politically, professionally and culturally."
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