Skipping memories on partition and the intersensory field in subcontinental Britain

Kaur, Raminder (2017) Skipping memories on partition and the intersensory field in subcontinental Britain. Third Text, 31 (2-3). pp. 387-418. ISSN 1475-5297

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Based on the research and development of a theatre drama. Silent Sisters, I consider how the partition of India-Pakistan when over ten million people were displaced is remembered in the diasporic context in Britain. These recollections and representations may be explored in terms of three main registers: first, objects and memories from the partition period itself in the subcontinent; second, those that may be from elsewhere but then are embedded in partition contexts; and third, those that throw light on the phenomena of partition from afar through fragments of ‘skipping memories’. The first broad context may encompass imagery that is directly from the period of mass displacement, extremely rare in that most people were too caught up in the urgency of carrying only bare essentials if anything at all lest they be killed, raped and/or looted. The second series of contexts may refer to free-floating representations, created in and on different time-spaces, but once embedded in semiotically rich contexts about partition take on new meanings and resonances that can be equally emotive. Relatedly, a third case is of how objects and memories become part of a generative archive that encompasses a range of media on the theme of partition – a canon that is potentially endless. In this case, the archive is pieced together out of tendrils that remain, tangible and intangible. It is an intersensory archive that is not just retrospective but also future-orientated in terms of what the fragment might catalyse - visual, narrativised, embodied, recited, sung, enacted, and digitalised.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: partition, India, Pakistan, theatre, oral histories, gender, archives, multi-sensory arts, diaspora, migration, displacement
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Asia
Depositing User: Raminder Kaur
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 06:11
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 15:31

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