New exhibition explores Islam, Trade and Politics on a journey across the country

Islam, Trade and Politics Across the Indian Ocean, a new photographic exhibition produced by the British Library and funded by the British Academy for the Association of South-East Asian Studies (ASEASUK) and British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) is to open on 30 May and go on a year-long journey across the country.

Southeast Asia has long been connected by trade, religion and political links to the wider world across the Indian Ocean, and especially to the Middle East through the faith of Islam. However, little attention has been paid to the ties between Muslim Southeast Asia – encompassing the modern nations of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and the southern parts of Thailand and the Philippines – and the greatest Middle Eastern power, the Ottoman empire.

The exhibition explores interactions between these two regions, from political, religious, literary and commercial exchanges to mutual influences in material culture.

Highlights include documents recently discovered in archives in Istanbul, which shed new light on links between the lands of the Ottoman empire and early republican Turkey, and the Muslim peoples of Southeast Asia.

Images of maps, drawings, books and letters, dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, are displayed in ten panels:

• Islam, Trade and Politics across the Indian Ocean
• The Indian Ocean World: Trade and Warfare
• Imagining the Other: Rum and Southeast Asia
• Intellectual Networks
• Artistic Connections
• Aceh: Eastern Frontier of the Ottoman World?
• Ottomans in the Philippines
• Southeast Asian Origins of Ottoman Pan-Islamism?
• Arab Go-Betweens: Sayyids from Hadhramaut
• Modern Turkey and Southeast Asia

Islam, Trade and Politics Across the Indian Ocean is a research project funded by the British Academy over the period 2009-2012, and administered by the BIAA and the ASEASUK.

The exhibition is based on research by scholars from the UK, Turkey, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and the USA.

For further information about where the exhibition is showing and which venues are accessible to the public visit: www.ottomansoutheastasia.org/.

Exhibition venues:
• 30 May – 10 June 2012 Launch at the British Academy, London (not open to public)
• 14 June – 29 August 2012 SOAS Library, London (not open to public)
• 5 – 26 Sept 2012 Oriental Museum, Durham
• 3 – 31 October 2012 Highfields Community Library, Leicester
• 7 – 21 November 2012 Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge
• 28 Nov 2012 – 5 Jan 2013 University of Leeds, Parkinson building
• 12 Jan – end March 2013 Uni. of Exeter, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Street Gallery

Notes to Editors:

For more information or interviews, please contact Kate Rosser Frost, Press & PR Manager at the British Academy on k.rosserfrost@britac.ac.uk or 020 7969 5263.

The British Academy, established by Royal Charter in 1902, is the national body that champions and supports the humanities and social sciences. It aims to inspire, recognise and support excellence and high achievement across the UK and internationally. For more information, please visit www.britac.ac.uk.

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

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