HOME 1947: New generation hears, sees and even smells partition

Published: October 22, 2017


LAHORE: ‘HOME 1947’, an immersive exhibition featuring a collection of stories from people who left their homes to cross the border during the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent, is under way at the Heritage Now festival in Lahore.

The first-of-its-kind exhibition was presented by two-time academy award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and displays refugee narratives in the form of photography, sound design, short documentaries and installations.

Ancient sites turned refugee camps post India-Pakistan Partition

The festival will continue till October 22, 2017 at the Al-Hamra Arts Council. Moreover, it will also be showcased in Karachi at the Frere Hall on November 17.

According to Obaid-Chinoy, the exhibition is a personal exploration of the lives and stories of millions who were displaced in 1947 during the creation of two new independent states; India and Pakistan.

The display includes a series of documentary films, a gallery installation as well as an experiential virtual reality and sound installation that recreates long-lost sights, sounds and smells of what millions once called home.

As refugee crises continue to affect millions across the world, HOME1947 shows partition not through words of historians, but through the eyes of those who lived it, she says.

She adds the exhibition is an ode to her grandparents’ generation whose stories she grew up listening to.

“As you walk through the exhibition, you will imagine the journeys people took, the conversations they had, the broken friendships they experienced and the homes and memories they left behind,” she continues.

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The exhibition was first showcased at the Manchester International Festival earlier this year with the support of the British Council as part of its programming to celebrate 70 years in Pakistan. The effort was made to support artistic expression in the UK and South Asia while strengthening cultural ties. This project was co-commissioned by Manchester International Festival, British Council and Superslow Way.

Chinoy’s award winning documentary, Songs of Lahore, which narrates the creative journey of some of the city’s oldest musicians, also premiered during the first day of Heritage Now. This was followed by a live performance by Sachal Orchestra.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2017.

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