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A Lived History of Partition
Based on the first and the largest pan-South Asian oral history survey ever conducted, 10,000 Memories tells the story of Partition, World War II and Independence in the mid-20th century Indian subcontinent through hundreds of individual experiences. Book 1, the inaugural volume of the 10,000 Memories series, draws on stories from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east, and Kashmir in the north to Kerala in the south, to provide vivid insights into this defining moment in world history unlike any previously written. 10,000 Memories combines stunning visuals, featuring over 1,000 photographs, with poignant quotes on each page for the casual browser, while longer oral history summaries (stories) on each page help satiate the curiosities of the voracious reader. The stories are evocative and bring history to life. You may cry, you may find yourself laughing uncontrollably or simply find yourself spellbound.
Presented by The 1947 Partition Archive
Guneeta Singh Bhalla
Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla is founder of The 1947 Partition Archive, an organization that documents oral histories from survivors of India and Pakistan’s 1947 Partition, also known as the world’s largest mass refugee crisis. After a 2008 visit to the oral testimony archives at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial she was inspired and began interviewing Partition witnesses in 2009. It was a deeply enriching experience and she wanted to make the art of oral history accessible to everyone. She was also troubled with the realization that the generation of eye witnesses was nearly gone and taking their lore with them. This led to the concept of crowdsourcing oral histories of Partition, which included teaching and encouraging the public in recording the people’s history of the world’s largest mass human displacement.
She gathered a team and began training individuals from all walks to record oral histories in 2010. In 2011 The 1947 Partition Archive was born and has through today documented over 10,000 Partition witnesses accounts. Guneeta is passionate about telling history from the ground up, and empowering everyone to tell their story. Guneeta believes that our true collective history is diverse and made up of the lived experiences of everyone who has ever existed, and is thus devoting her life to raise the curtain on unheard voices from some of the most marginalized and underrepresented communities.
Previously, she was an experimental condensed matter physicist who completed her tenure as a post-doctoral researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley. She devised experiments to probe quantum confinement at interfaces that include oxide heterostructures and domain walls in multiferroics. Underneath it all, she is a visual artist who won awards for her works through her school days and college, before diverting her creative skills to the hard sciences, and now, oral history.
Raghu Bahadur Raj
Mr. Raghu Bahadur Raj was born in Lahore on September 5th, 1939. He was 8 years old when Partition was announced. Today he writes a column for Sommelier India, India’s only wine magazine, and often wrote for newspapers and magazines on various lifestyle topics while he lived abroad.
Gittanjali C Kalro
Gittanjali C Kalro is a Writer and an Entrepreneur. She writes and performs poetry in Sindhi intertwined with Hindi or English translation. She has conducted 61 interviews with Sindhi Partition Survivors for the 1947 Partition Archive. She was also an assistant director on ‘Still Standing’, a documentary on the life, culture, and struggles of the Sindhis across 7 countries. In 2019, she ran a podcast under the banner Sindhi Boondi, with original stories and poems available on SoundCloud. She most values her legacy as the granddaughter of the founder of the iconic Gangarams bookstore in Bangalore. Her essay ‘Dukaan’ on the Eco-system of Sindhi Shops was published in Sindhi Tapestry (Edited by Saaz Agarwal), her latest essay ‘The Violence of the Non-Violent Movement’ will be published in the upcoming book by the 1947 Partition Archive.