Derby Peoples History – Innovation and Disruption 1700–2020 Sikh RAF volunteers. Red Saunders – artist
Red Saunders’ art shines photographic light on great moments in the long struggle for social justice. Local people are at the heart of Hidden, enacting and recreating on camera stories of innovation and disruption from Derbyshire’s past.
Three historic and globally significant moments for the city have been recreated by Red in three photographic tableaux for the new Museum of Making, this being one. Merlin aero engines powered Spitfires during the Second World War and were developed by Rolls-Royce in Derby. This photograph honours all those who flew Allied planes during the Second World War. Sikh pilots joined the Royal Air Force and the Indian Air Force. Together these combined Allied forces fought and won the victory of the skies in 1940.
Kalwinder Singh Dhindsa “As a British-born Punjabi of Sikh heritage, this tableau connects to me not only as a Sikh man but a Derby man. It perfectly acknowledges the enduring contribution of Punjabis in the fields of activism, military defence and science. A reminder that nothing is inevitable as the lessons of our past will confirm. We can all intervene, make a difference and change things when we come together. Strike hard and stand firm.”
A Museum of Making Art and Heritage Commission 2017-2020 Producer: Sue Ball, MAA
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