बटवारा (Batwara): Archive Remnants 2024

 

In August 1947, after 300 years of rule, the British left India, leaving it partitioned into two nation states, Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. My paternal and maternal ancestral homes in the Punjab were abandoned and my families came to India as refugees. In one of the largest migrations in history, over fourteen million people crossed an arbitrary border, the Radcliff Line, drawn by British cartographer Cyril Radcliff. The forced mass migration resulted in the deaths of over two million people. 


This project explores the relationship between fragments of family history, cultural memory, and historical archives. Repetition, whether though hand sewing stich-by-stich or the repeated throwing of the shuttle on the jacquard loom, becomes a process of remembering and witnessing. The slow emergence of the images in the weaving process represents the “silence,” giving way to the stories and images that have been passed down through generations. 


Photo courtesy: Mikey Mosher