Visiting a Thorn

"Visiting a Thorn '' is an ongoing archival project by Toor, who delves into the migration of his grandfather from Kenya to the UK. By delving into his family 'Archive,' Toor's investigation centres around a collection of aged negatives and images that remained dormant, awaiting rediscovery after his grandfather's untimely departure. As memories and fables from Toor's early years began to fade, his keen sensibility prompted him to embark on a meticulous process of repurposing, scanning, and engaging in creative collaboration. Through these endeavours, Toor intricately reconstructs fragments of his Indian heritage intricately intertwined with the era of colonial Kenya.

The project takes on a profound significance, drawing upon the framework of photography theory and language, as it unravels the monumental migration of the South Asian Diaspora from Kenya and Uganda to the United Kingdom during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Guided by a commitment to portraying a narrative void of colonial distortions, the photographs have been meticulously culled from diverse sources, including external family albums, personal archives, from numerous families and cities. Among the overarching themes manifesting within the body of work, the notions of Friendship, Family, and Community hold paramount importance. Indeed, these images encapsulate a harmonious epoch in the lives of many, which was accompanied by the poignant act of relinquishing their achievements as they embraced new lives in the United Kingdom and other distant cities.

As the project progresses, Toor see’s the body of work forming as an exhibition which includes interviews and transcripts from conversation with participants. In adherence to photography theory, Toor emphasises the intrinsic value of "oral history," "family folklore," and "subjective history," recognizing these as indispensable elements that render the everyday. To the viewer's experience, yielding a on-linear narrative reins to the participants themselves, a novel and evocative version of the tale emerges, unfettered by imposed perspectives.

"Visiting a Thorn" transcends mere nostalgia, positioned to show photographs from previous generations. The project's overarching mission lies in fostering an inclusive community dialogue that kindles a profound understanding among the younger generation, granting them access to the journeys undertaken by their ancestors. Within the creative lens of this archival pursuit, the power of photography and storytelling illuminates history's concealed narratives and evokes a shared consciousness that resonates across a community.

©jaitoorLondon, United KingdomPhotography