Mahika Gautam

Mr Dennis Scrivens this one is for you

Mahika Gautam’s project began as an exploration of the performative nature of the food-giving ritual in Indian culture.

A memorial for the Bengal Famine, outside the British Museum (Photo credit M. Gautam, 2021)

To be decolonised, is to choose to act how you have been made to for centuries...

Through this lens, Gautam looked at the giving, the taking, the making and the packing of food and what each of these acts represent for the people involved in the exchange. Gautam looked at food as a means to understand immigration and colonisation, through the history of ingredients and their origins. Interacting largely with the Brown community, she was able to learn how they grew up and what they experienced. In this way, this project more largely explores the nature of marginalisation within a democracy and relies on my own definition of decolonisation.

‘To be decolonised, is to choose to act how you have been made to for centuries. It is to realise that in doing so one is not redefining themselves, but rather exposing those who stole this right from us.’ This definition is realised through a series of protests, parades, and pageants. It is epitomised with a performance outside the location of England’s first ever curry house, where Gautam dances to reclaim stolen narratives.

Watch Mahika Gautam’s project video here


Pageant / Lost Expression; traveling though the neighbourhood to learn first impressions. (Photo credit M. Gautam, 2021)

A still from a projection of the film -Reclaiming the Lost (Photo credit M. Gautam, 2021)


Name Mahika Gautam (she/her)
Role  Student
Programme (and Unit) Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies With Year Abroad
Department The Bartlett School of Architecture


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