Mark Stein


'In the 1990s, it has become protocol to distinguish "black" (that is, African Caribbean) and "Asian" groupings in Britain' Ashwani Sharma and others have recently noted. 4 I take this quotation as emblematic of a moment in British cultures where alliances between distinct black British groups have become more difficult and where diversity is emphasized. It stems from a study which responds to a growing presence and commodification of 'Asian' musical production in Britain such as bhangra, Southall beat, northern rock bhangra and house bhangra. This increased visibility of an Asian cultural presence is true for the arts generally; think of the soaring success of the sculptor Anish Kapoor's work; think of writers such as Hanif Kureishi, Meera Syal, and, obviously, Rushdie, or younger ones like Bidishas or Atima Srivastava. There are the fields of fashion to be considered, or food, or TV with programmes like Goodness Gradous. While limiting my inquiry to the field of writing, I'm pursuing the larger question of the politics of 'Asian' cultural production vis-a-vis the older and overarching denomination 'Black British'. This paper



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