October 30

Beyond Bollywood in SLU

A new MOHAI exhibit explores the contributions of Indian immigrants in the United States.

The Museum of History & Industry debuts its fall exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, on November 2.

Photography, artifacts, and audio stories demonstrate how Indian immigrants built early railroads and farms, became civil rights pioneers, and built businesses as technology entrepreneurs.

“MOHAI is honored to host this beautifully rich exhibit,” said Leonard Garfield, MOHAI’s Executive Director. “Turning the tables on old stereotypes, Beyond Bollywood weaves together stories of individual achievement and the collective struggle of Indian Americans. This is a story particularly relevant in our community: in Washington State, India is the third most common birthplace for foreign-born residents,” Garfield said.

The exhibit is structured into three thematic sections: diversity of community; working lives; and arts and culture. Beyond Bollywood also examines the difficult path to integration that many Indian immigrants have faced. Exhibits chronicle the trials of and triumphs over xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). Amy Bhatt, co-author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest, curated MOHAI’s locally focused addition with insight provided by the museum’s Community Advisory Committee. The exhibition runs through January 26, 2020.

MOHAI’s exhibit gallery hours are 10am to 5pm daily. Admission is free on first Thursdays to MOHAI’s regular galleries and open until 8 p.m. Please check the website for admission prices. As part of the Museums For All program, low-income families can visit MOHAI for a minimal fee of $2 per person with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.

To learn more about MOHAI and discover additional events and exhibits, visit mohai.org.

Story by Ethan Chung and photographs courtesy of John Merrell and the Ali Akbar Khan Foundation.

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