Stories of ’71: Commemorating Bangladesh Struggle and Liberation

Stories of 1971: Journeying back 

26th March 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh war, struggle and subsequent Independence. East London is home to a vibrant and dynamic British Bengali community who, with strong cultural and familial ties, were deeply impacted by these events. Against a backdrop of 1970s East End revolutionary spirit, many local people were vocal and active in solidarity action to support the movement.  

In collaboration with Swadhinata Trust, throughout the year, we will be delivering a series of activities that spotlight stories and experiences of local people, celebrating this rich heritage.

Celebrating Bangladesh 50

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Story & Musical Walking Tour

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In Conversation with…

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Want to Volunteer? 

We are looking for motivated volunteers who may have an interest in local history and heritage.

Heritage Volunteers may be invited to work with us to translate stories into English, research archives, support communities to participate in activities or get involved in organising conversations with local activists from the 1970s.

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Celebrating Bangladesh50 at Toynbee Hall

Sunday 4th July, 14:30 – 17:30

Come join us for an afternoon of music, food and community storytelling at Toynbee, where our historic halls were an important meeting site for Bengali activists during 1971.

Winners of the our Stories of 71 Short Story Competition we held back in March/April 2021 will also be performing their pieces.

This is a free event but booking is required as numbers are limited – please register.

Register here

Stories of 71: Performative Music and Storytelling walking Tour

Sunday 4th July – Meet at 10:45am outside Toynbee Hall, 11am – 13:30

Join local storyteller Shamim Azad, musicians Paul Burgess and Amit Dey, and the Swadhinata Trust as we journey through the local area, visiting places that hold a connection to British Bengali Heritage and the 1971 War of Independence. At each location, Shamim will lead a short story & musical performance to capture some of this important heritage.

This is a free event but booking is required as numbers are limited– please register on Eventbrite:

Register here