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The documentary film, exhibition and booklet was launched in summer 2016 to mark and celebrate 60 years of the Indian Workers' Association

For more information contact Balraj Purewal on 07882 537336 or email: or contact the IWA office on 020 8574 7283/6019

IWA meeting

Indian Workers' Association (IWA): 60 Years of Struggles and Achievements

An oral history documentary charting the settlement of Asians in Southall in the 1950s & 1960s; IWA's formation; its work and campaigns from 1956 to 2016, featuring historical footage and photographs has been produced. WATCH IT NOW!

The IWA was nationally acclaimed for its campaigns to protect the rights of the early immigrant workers setting in the UK in the 50s and 60s and its tireless work against discrimination and injustice. It acted as a training nursery for a generation of Asian and Black community leaders, inspiring many into mainstream local and national politics. At its peak IWA had membership of over 20,000 paid members in the 1970s and 1980s, ran a self financed national welfare & advice service supporting many thousands of people annually. In the 1960s an IWA member became the first elected Asian Councillor in Ealing and by 1994 its President had become the first Asian MP for Ealing/Southall Constituency inspiring generations of Asians into mainstream institutions and politics.

Our film through interviews and recordings gives survivors who founded or were active in the IWA and their families an opportunity to tell their own stories about the heritage of the IWA and Southall community's contributions to the wider Asian and Panjabi communities in the UK and to preserve this history for future generations. It documents and captures the lived experiences and memories of older people who came as immigrants in the 1950s and 1960s, who faced discrimination, organised themselves and supported the establishment of IWA.

Our project involved recorded interviews with survivors who founded or were active in IWA or their families as well as other people from which this documentary film was produced along with a series of 'personal history profiles' of prominent people . It has also produced a booklet and an exhibition on the heritage of IWA which will available for display to community, public bodies, educational institutes and others.

Our project also offered free training opportunities to 20 people on making documentary films, film interviewing and recording techniques, undertaking research on archives, heritage preservation skills etc.