Article in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus

Turbulent times portrayed at new exhibition at Peace Museum in Bradford

ONE of the most turbulent periods in South Asian history, and how it has affected the lives of Bradford residents, has been documented in a new exhibition.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Indian partition, which led to the formation of Pakistan.

To mark the anniversary, the Peace Museum has created the Peace After Partition exhibition, which opened today.

The exhibition has been in the works for several months, with curators speaking to Bradford’s Asian communities to gather memories about the period.

On display is a collection of stories and artefacts and the exhibition will also include invitations for school, youth and elderly groups to participate in workshops.

The 1947 partition is one of the largest migrations ever recorded in history. It transformed the landscape of South Asia, and the consequences are still affecting the lives of millions of people today, which includes communities who migrated to the UK.

Working with the National Science and Media Museum, the museum has selected images from the Daily Herald Archive taken during the time, which will feature in the exhibition in coming months.

These photographs have been used in workshops to bring together members of the Millan Community Centre and the museum’s Reminiscence group to encourage discussions on how the events of Partition unfolded.

The exhibition will run at the Piece Hall Yard museum until September 29, and until then the Museum will offer a guided tour and Bradford residents will be encouraged to document their own family histories relating to Partition, share stories of peaceful reactions between communities in response to the violence that erupted, and map their migrations from South Asia.

Samayya Afzal, diversity development officer, said: “This will be an opportunity for South Asians and non-South Asians of all backgrounds and ages to come together, to learn about and discuss our shared history, relate to the decisions and events that paved the way to Partition, and perhaps most importantly, see Partition through a perspective different to our own.”

She said it was important to collect memories of the period, as many of those with first hand experience of Partition were reaching the end of their lives.

It was also an issue that was not commonly discussed among the UK Asian community.

The event still has repercussions today, including the disputed region of Kashmir.

Among the Bradford people who helped contribute was Suraiya Khatun, who was six-years-old when the partition happened.

At a recent event at the National Science and Media Museum, she described her memories of it, saying: “People were becoming incredibly violent and there was a lot of commotion in the country.

“You could not go to school, work, or to pray. Some people made plans to leave but poor people had to hide from the violence.”

By Chris Young


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