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Prem Sahib: That Fire Over There

Prem Sahib: That Fire Over There

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That Fire Over There takes fire as a metaphor for ideas around queer attachment, proximity, and personal and collective transformation. It also excavates the history of a real fire which in 1981 destroyed the Hambrough Tavern – a contested site symbolic of provocation and conflict against far-right groups in Southall, west London, where Prem Sahib grew up.

A rich body of images – documenting artworks which explore gay cruising, selected from family photo collections, and displaying ephemera from the archive of Prem Sahib’s uncle Kamaljit Sahib, a notable activist in Southall of the 1980s and 90s – combines with extracts from a dream diary and exchanges with family members. Added to this are newly commissioned texts and correspondence by Sita Balani, Milovan Farronato, Reba Maybury and Ashkan Sepahvand, engaging with emotional themes such as grief, shame and loss. Prem Sahib’s own writing makes connections between interlocutors and carves out a space for otherwise disparate material to coexist, all in the pursuit of questioning ideas around freedom, sexuality, and intergenerational experiences of place and politics.

This publication expands on a series of three exhibitions made by Prem Sahib, collectively titled Descent and shown at Southard Reid Gallery in 2019–20. Descent is i. People Come & Go; ii. Cul de Sac; iii. Man Dog; and now, iv. That Fire Over There.

Title: That Fire Over There
Publisher: Book Works, 2023
Editors: Lizzie Homersham, Paul Sammut
Artist: Prem Sahib
Contributors: Sita Balani, Milovan Farronato, Reba Maybury, Ashkan Sepahvand
Graphic Design: Martin McGrath Studio
Format: Softcover
Size: 17 x 24 cm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781912570188
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