‘Taking Tea’ is an enquiry into the representation of the Indian and Sri Lankan tea plantation in tea workers’ songs, narratives, and protests, in tension with their contrasting representation in advertising, plays and songs expressing their cultural significance for tea consumers in the UK. This international collaboration across disciplines, and working with partner organisations, analyses cultural performances and texts to illuminate the relationship between colonial history and contemporary issues of the tea industry in India and Sri Lanka, observing the continuing problematics of tea as a monoculture in the context of climate change.

Tea plantations are sites of environmental injustice and of pressing social relevance, requiring a combination of humanities, social science and natural science approaches. Working with Immersive Trails, Kolkata, we will workshop a practice-research online experience for an international audience. This will experiment with ways in which tourist audiences might be made aware of these problematics in an entertaining and informative experience.

This project is funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant.