Oxford University Commissions Portraits Of Indian-Origin Academicians And Former Students To Reflect Diversity

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Oxford University Commissions Portraits Of Indian-Origin Academicians And Former Students To Reflect Diversity

Oxford University Unveils Portraits Of Indian-Origin Students To Reflect

New Delhi:  Oxford University recently unveiled a range of new portraits which included portraits of Indian-origin students to encourage students and to improve the diversity balance on the walls of the world-famous university. The said portraits mainly include paintings and photographs of men and women from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. The list of people included also features people with disabilities and people from LGBTQ communities. The Artists who have been commissioned to complete the portraits include Benjamin Sullivan, Joanna Vestey, and Ander McIntyre and the sitter include current academics and former students.

As part of the project, Linguistics scholar Aditi Lahiri, human rights activist Kumi Naidoo and BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti will join the likes of British film and television director Ken Loach and astrophysicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The new works will be displayed in the university's central public spaces and will be shown at an exhibition in Oxford later in the year. The sitters for the portraits were selected from among 100 nominations of living Oxonians.

The project is funded by the Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Fund. According to reports in Press Trust of India, Rebecca Surender, advocate and pro-vice-chancellor for equality and diversity at the university, said,"It is hugely important for students and staff to feel at home at Oxford, and to feel inspired by people they can relate to".

Rebecca Surender said that the series of portraits will help broaden the range of people represented around the University. She said that the sitters who have been selected have made huge contributions to Oxford life and to society in general.

BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti who is one of the Indian-origin sitters, studied at Exeter College, Oxford. Talking about her time at Oxford she said, "I loved my time at Oxford. There weren't - then - many people from my background at university there. But that didn't stop my experience from being overwhelmingly good. I hope this project will show that Oxford is open to everyone, and that it wants to be more so. I hope too that it reflects present-day Oxford back at itself, and that it encourages an ever more diverse range of people to study there."

The complete list of sitters selected for portraits and the corresponding artist is given below:
  • Diran Adebayo (novelist) - Rory Carnegie
  • Dr Norma Aubertin-Potter (librarian) - Emily Carrington Freeman
  • Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell (astrophysicist) - Ben Hughes 
  • Professor Dame Valerie Beral (epidemiologist) - Samantha Fellows
  • Professor Dorothy Bishop (developmental neuropsychologist) - Benjamin Sullivan 
  • Reeta Chakrabarti (journalist) - Fran Monks
  • Dr Penelope Curtis (arts administrator) - Humphrey Ocean 
  • Professor Patricia Daley (human geographer) - Binny Mathews 
  • Professor Trisha Greenhalgh (primary health care scholar) - Fakhri Bismanto Bohang 
  • Anne-Marie Imafidon (women in science campaigner) - Sarah Muirhead 
  • Professor Dame Carole Jordan (astrophysicist) - Rupert Brooks
  • Professor Aditi Lahiri (linguistics scholar) - Rosalie Watkins
  • Kelsey Leonard (water scholar) - artist TBC 
  • Hilary Lister (sailor) - Nicola Brandt 
  • Ken Loach (director) - Richard Twose 
  • Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch (historian) - Joanna Vestey
  • Jan Morris (writer) - Luca Coles
  • Kumi Naidoo (human rights activist) - Fran Monks 
  • Dr Henry Odili Nwume (Winter Olympian) - Sarah-Jane Moon
  • Dame Esther Rantzen (broadcaster and charity campaigner) - Ander McIntyre
  • Professor Lyndal Roper (historian) - Miranda Creswell 
  • Professor Kathy Sylva (educational psychologist) - Pippa Thew 
  • Marie Tidball (lawyer and disability rights campaigner) - Clementine Webster 
  • Jeanette Winterson (novelist) - Gerard Hanson

(With Inputs from Press Trust of India and Oxford University official website)

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