Introduction to the Girmit project

We are over the moon to work on the Girmit project by the Nutkhut group, sponsored by The Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, and Mela Partnerships, with PlaylabZ.

We provided technical creativity due to the nature of bringing the Virtual Reality Artwork of Lorna’s TiltBrush experiences to the 360 environments – a technical breakdown is coming soon.

The project brought together many parties, technicians, creatives, and partners, with the aim of telling the Girmit story in 360 and 360VR.

Nutkhut is embarking on a multi-sensory, immersive experience that will shine a light on those people who were part of the 20th century British-Fijian indentured labour diaspora. This project is called Girmit.

Girmit = derived from the English word ‘Agreement’.

Slavery was abolished in 1833 and so the British, and other European powers, started the indenture system, a way to source cheap labour for their colonies. Between 1870 and 1920 over 60,000 Indians were transported to Fiji as part of a legitimate but enforced mass migration.

‘Girmitiyas’ was the name given to the Indians who served as indentured labourers in the British colonies. Using multi-dimensional, mixed-media art forms designed to engage the eyes and the ears, Girmit aims to bring to life the stories of the Girmitiyas and highlight the history of indentured labour like never before.

About Nutkhut: 

Formed in 2003 by artists Simmy Gupta and Ajay Chhabra, Nutkhut is an ideas-led, art-focused performance company that re-imagines the told and tells the new through breath-taking experiences designed to delight all audiences. Utilising performance, dance, film, participatory installation, circus, and digital art mixed with British comedic sensibility and eccentricity, NutKhut brings stories to life. 

Longer explanation: 

Nutkhut with Scenegraph Studios is launching a new immersive online arts and heritage project and 360° experience, Girmit, which aims to educate, raise awareness and facilitate open conversations around indentured labour, an unspoken part of history.

Girmit focuses on a legitimate but forced mass migration and labour system put in place by British and European powers between 1870 and 1920, the indentured labour system. 

After slavery was abolished in 1833, the British and other European powers started the indenture system to source cheap labour for their colonies. Over 60,000 Indians were transported to Fiji between 1870 and 1920 as part of a legitimate but enforced mass migration.

Nutkhut artistic director Ajay Chhabra is deeply connected to the story of indentured labour as his grandfather, Laali Maharaj unwittingly became an indentured labourer sent to Fiji, a land 7,000 miles away from his home at the tender age of 14. 

It’s time to show the wider public what impact this system had on those labourers and their families and how this has impacted generations. The team behind Girmit are deeply committed to highlighting this forgotten history and helping to open conversations and eyes around what happened during this period of history. 

The project will premiere at the first-ever virtual Mozilla Festival on 11 March 2021 at 6.15 pm GMT. As sponsors, Nutkut has special access to the festival for its and its partners’ followers – to register your place, please follow this link. (Please note, you don’t need to alter anything on this page, just press continue and then you can register your email): 

Once you’re registered, head to the schedule to find us or click here and sign up for our session:

After 6.15pm on the 11 March 2021, all Girmit activities and experiences will be available at This will be a free-to-access hub, that everyone and anyone can view and explore online forever. 

For further information on Girmit, please visit: