East to West

The History of
Ugandan Asians

Uprooted 50 Years Ago – Exhibition: Introduction

Uprooted 50 Years Ago

– Exhibition –


On the 4th August 1972, Idi Amin, the President of Uganda, made an announcement that dramatically changed the lives of all Asians in Uganda. He claimed he had a dream in which God told him to free the nation of all Asians, whom he referred to as ‘bloodsuckers’ draining the economy. Giving them 90 days to leave, with nothing more than a suitcase and £50 in their pockets. Approximately 80,000 Asians were displaced as refugees. Many that arrived in the UK were initially housed into temporary resettlement camps, one of which was at RAF Greenham Common, Newbury.
Uprooted 50 years ago follows “The Flight to Greenham” exhibition held 10 years ago here at Greenham. Despite the exhibition marking 40 years being a success this project has opened up more memories and more people were willing to come forward and share their stories.
Uprooted 50 years ago is part of Once Upon a Time 50 Years Ago marking the 50th anniversary of the expulsion with this exhibition, Dinners and speaker events, with delegates arriving from Uganda to attend, luncheon and panel discussion remembering the Ugandan lives lost and the tragedy of 50 years ago and the commission of a memorial dedicated to the 4000 Asians who passed through the camp and to those who tirelessly worked and volunteered there. The exhibition looks at the history of Ugandan Asians, exploring life in Uganda, the 1972 eviction, and their subsequent arrival to the UK. It reveals personal experiences of those involved: the Asian refugees and the British people working to help them. It is a short yet significant history, which is often eclipsed by the later role played by the air base as a site for nuclear missiles and social protest.