Essential Information

Type Free displays
National Maritime Museum
Date and Times Open daily | 10am-5pm
Prices Free

As part of Royal Museums Greenwich’s first celebration connected to South Asian Heritage Month, the Museum commissioned Mehala Ford, founder of CommonGround&, to respond to the representation of South Asian history and culture in the National Maritime Museum.

The result is a series of portraits of South Asian creative individuals, photographed around historic Greenwich and displayed on the Great Map of the National Maritime Museum.

A group portrait photograph of a number of Asian men and women sitting on a giant map. They are all looking up at the camera
(Photographed by Alia Romagnoli)

From musicians and artists to writers, entrepreneurs, directors and designers, all these people are pioneers: breaking new ground and inspiring a renaissance in South Asian creativity.

The display is free and open to everyone at the National Maritime Museum.

Hear more from the 'Pioneers' during the series of talks and workshops throughout October and November:

Photograph of a woman standing in front of a pink rose bush. She is wearing a blue sari draped across her left shoulder, and is standing with her hands on her hips, smiling and looking off to the left.

"Pioneers takes its lead from the historical portraiture in the Traders gallery and the lack of South Asian representation visible in it.

"Through storytelling and portraiture, the display explores the importance of ‘layers, memory and legacy’ in the South Asian creative community. The content has been inspired by the pioneering journeys that South Asian creatives and their ancestors have made to establish new homes, communities and careers.

"Pioneers questions how portraiture can be used to reflect parts of our personal history, as well as what we can pass on to future generations. This display represents South Asian creative individuals, photographed by four South Asian photographers. All of these people have forged dynamic new paths and platforms and contributed to what we are calling ‘A Renaissance in South Asian Creativity’. These are the people we call pioneers."

- Mehala Ford, Founder of CommonGround& 

What’s On

Pioneers is part of the Season of Identity, a series of events at Royal Museums Greenwich exploring Britain's global connections and identities.

A woman looks at a dress displayed in a glass case inside the Pacific Encounters gallery of the National Maritime Museum

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