The Future of the Past: Voices of Partition and Lessons Learned

The Future of the Past: Voices of Partition and Lessons Learned

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew will share her research interviewing survivors from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with a reception to follow

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 6:00pm

How can personal narratives help most accurately contextualize the complex cultural histories, identity, and collective memory of the brutality of the British India Partition?
It has been 70 years since the British India Partition, an event where it is estimated that over 12 million people were displaced and over 1 million people lost their lives during a 3-month period. According to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the 1947 Partition is the second most significant migration crisis after World War II. The event created new boundaries and new nations in the South Asia region—India and Pakistan—and marked these borders with brutal violence between Hindus and Sikhs on one side and Muslims on the other. It was reported that thousands of women were abducted or raped, and many were never accounted for. Perpetrators, victims, and saviors were on both sides of the conflict lines. Those who survived the event were brutalized, traumatized, and carried the scars of their suffering which, in so many ways, have continued to dictate the relations between the two countries today.
Unlike other horrific events, such as the Holocaust, there is no memorial to the people affected by the Partition. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s photo-animation exhibit, “Open Wound: Stories of Partition”, and the work of The 1947 Partition Archive seek to address that gap by giving voice to the turmoil experienced by those who were displaced by the Partition. During our March 22 event, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew will share her research interviewing survivors from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and the evening will conclude with a reception to view her work in the Marran Gallery.

Lectures
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