Our short animation tells the story of how the lives and livelihoods of the Bangladeshi diaspora in the UK have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Centring on the experience of a Bangladeshi family living in East London, the film explores the roles of language, family life and community in how UK Bangladeshis had to learn about and live with the virus. The film is based on a UKRI funded study looking at how elders and their families and carers accessed and shared information about the virus. The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between a world-renowned university, King’s College London, and a longstanding community group, whose mission is to promote Bangladeshi heritage and history in the UK, the Swadhinata Trust. In this event, you will have the opportunity to see the film and meet the team behind its creation. Attending the Q and A will be the project lead, Dr Chris Tang, Julie Begum and Ansar Ahmed Ullah of the Swadhinata Trust, Mrs Rajahan Begum, one of the project participants, and the very talented Diwas Bisht, the film’s animator.
Ansar Ahmed Ullah is director of the Swadhinata Trust. As well as being a well-known activist, he is an experienced community researcher, who conducted the interviews with the male participants. He is currently conducting a UKRI funded PhD at Queen Mary’s University looking at the Bengali anti-racist movement.
Chris Tang is an applied linguist with expertise in corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and qualitative research methods. His work has shown how the language used in health and disaster communication shapes the threat perception and conceptualisation and ultimately the behaviour of individuals, groups and communities. His research on the role of social networks in engaging minority ethnic groups with health advice has informed the UK public health plan for extreme temperature and promoted compliance with COVID mitigations and vaccine uptake in groups typically labelled “hard to reach”.