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Diasporic Communication, Vol. 9 - 2002, No. 1

Vilayati Bollywood: Popular Hindi Cinema-Going and Diasporic South Asian Identity in Birmingham (UK)

, pages: 19-36[open access]

Drawing on theoretical developments in the studies of Black British diasporas, combining textual analysis with extended qualitative interviews, and focusing on the citizenry of British South Asians in Birmingham, this paper offers an account of the history of the emergence, fall, and rise again of Bollywod cinema-going in the city as a cultural and leisure activity. This article argues that the localised space of the Asian cinema in which Bollywood films are viewed and made sense of are useful to an understanding of the films' importance as texts and as an engagement with diasporic British South Asian social identities and geographies. As shall be demonstrated in the paper, Bollywood cinema-going in Birmingham, as in other parts of Britain, embodies notions of diasporic belonging and a remaking of post-war urban British landscapes that sustain and develop Black British public spheres.

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