Peace After Partition: A consultation
On Friday 3rd March, we are hosting our first consultation to engage contributions from the South Asian community.
We recognise that Partition is an incredibly emotive topic for many communities in Bradford. The overarching themes feature independence from the British Empire and the creation of two, and later three countries in the Indian subcontinent, through conflict, violence and death. Nevertheless, we know that stories of inter-community relationships are much deeper than this, and much more complicated.
In today’s world, debates around migration, refugees, displacement and ‘integration’ are very common. Little importance, however, is given to the event that shaped an entire subcontinent as it fought for independence and self-rule. It is not widely taught what the cost of Partition truly was, nor is there emphasis on individual stories, convoluted as they are.
When Partition *is* mentioned, it is often in the context of bloodshed and loss. Through our exhibition later this year, we aim to portray this, but also to go into further detail and explore the experiences of the Bradford South Asian diaspora.
We have already heard some of them: The family who migrated and eventually settled in a house overlooking their original home, separated by a border but never able to return. The father who stayed behind to guard holy shrines as his wife and children moved to Pakistan. The woman who returned in her later years to Lahore to visit her local Gurdwara, after her family fled to Delhi.
We want to hear more of the stories people have passed down, we’d like to see the objects they may have kept, and we’d like to hear from young people, about how Partition has led them to navigate an identity shaped not only by immediate environment, but ancestral home too.
South Asian people carrying untold stories have this wealth of experience wherever they have migrated to – on the 70th anniversary of Partition – let’s hear them out loud.
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