The Stories of Food, Ageing and Migration
Press release issued: 10 November 2011
The Bangladeshi population is one of the fastest growing ethnic groups within the UK, and are amongst the most socially disadvantaged suffering from high rates of ill health and social exclusion, which fall most heavily on older women – who often bear the responsibility for taking care of large families.
The end of a three-year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA)- funded study, led by Professor Janice Thompson at the University of Bristol, into how Bengali women’s health, nutritional status and diet are affected by the experience of migration will culminate with a dissemination event from 11.00 to 14.30 on 15 November 2011 at The Cardiff Story Museum and a photographic exhibition of observational portraits providing an insight into their lives.
The dissemination event will be attended by community members, research participants and key stakeholders, and will feature interactive presentations focusing on the results of the study and includes an introduction by Professor Alan Walker, Director of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme and a keynote presentation by Ruth Marks, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
The photo exhibition, entitled ‘Bangladesh - UK: The Stories of Food, Ageing and Migration’ includes a series of photographs by Vanja Garaj taken mostly in Cardiff, London and Sylhet – the region in north-east Bangladesh where the majority of the UK’s Bangladeshi community originates.
The photographs are an outcome of ‘MINA: Migration, Nutrition and Ageing across the life course in Bangladeshi Families’, a project that aims to aid the development of culturally sensitive interventions to improve the health of the UK’s growing Bangladeshi population.
The exhibition is divided between two venues, with several photographs on display in the Senedd, the National Assembly for Wales [15 - 22 November, 2011], and the majority in the Cardiff Story, the new museum of Cardiff’s history [15 November - 15 December, 2011].
Janice Thompson, Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Head of the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences in the School for Policy studies, said: “Project MINA has provided a rich source of quantitative, qualitative and visual ethnography data helping us to better understand the impact of migration on nutrition and ageing among Bangladeshi women living in the UK and in Bangladesh. The photo exhibition features almost 40 photographs that tell the stories of women and communities who took part in the MINA study, some are observational portraits exploring the lives and situations of the women who took part, while others touch upon wider cultural issues, such as the position of women in society.”
Ruth Marks, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, added: “It is important to recognise the positive role older people play in our communities, and that we celebrate our diverse heritage and the experiences older people can share with younger generations. Older people care for each other, for children and grandchildren and are a key part of the community spirit that defines Wales. We must never take this for granted, but make sure we tackle the challenges that face older people and make Wales a great place to grow older. I look forward to speaking in this important event and learning more about the cultural issues affecting Bangladeshi older people, especially older women.”
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2011/12 is £203 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk