10,000 Memories: A Lived History of Partition is the fruition of the largest pan-South Asian oral history survey ever conducted. Through individual experiences, it documents stories of Partition, World War II, and Independence in the mid-20th century Indian subcontinent. The narratives from Bombay include stories of soldiers involved in the Navy Mutiny, the settlement of Sindhis post-partition, and numerous Muslim families who chose to stay in Bombay and continued to call it their home among others.
The book has its origins in The 1947 Partition Archive. Founded by Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla, it is a crowdsourced community-based archive that trains citizen historians to document, preserve and share oral histories of Partition. Previously an experimental condensed matter physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Bhalla began interviewing Partition witnesses in 2009. In 2011, The 1947 Partition Archive was born and has documented over 10,000 witness accounts.
Come and be a part of a nostalgic lecture demonstration by Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla followed by a conversation with Deputy Editor, Live History India Aparna Andhare to discover the evocative stories ensuring that history is not forgotten.
Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla is the 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. 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 numerous awards for her works through her school days and college, before diverting her creative skills to the hard sciences, and now, oral history.Read more
Aparna Andhare is the Deputy Editor, Live History India, looking after programming for LHI Circle. She was, until recently, a curator at the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, the City Palace, Jaipur. Joining the Museum in 2017, she worked on developing a new gallery on transport, contributed to publications, had collection responsibilities, and handled outreach activities including social media. Specializing in art and architecture of early modern India, she has two master's degrees: Art in the Global Middle Ages (University of Edinburgh, 2017), and Arts and Aesthetics (Master's, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2012). In Bombay, she has worked on independent archiving projects and taught and coordinated the Art Design History and Theory program for undergraduates at ISDI-Parson's Mumbai (2013-16). Aparna contributes to various publications on art and culture.Read more
The Partition of India in 1947 was a traumatic event for both India and Pakistan, and its effects are still felt today, with ongoing tensions and conflicts between the two countries. It also resulted in the largest migration in human history, with millions of people leaving their homes and starting a new life in a new country. The partition remains a significant event in the history of the Indian subcontinent, and its legacy continues to shape the region's political and social landscape.
Oral history is a
method of preserving historical information and personal experiences through
spoken interviews with individuals who have first-hand knowledge of a
particular event or period. It is a valuable tool for understanding the past
from the perspectives of those who lived it, especially when written records
are scarce or biased. Oral history is used in a variety of fields, including
history, anthropology, sociology, and folklore. It is particularly useful for
recording the experiences and perspectives of marginalized or underrepresented
groups, such as women, minorities, and the working class. It provides a more
nuanced and multi-dimensional understanding of historical events, as it allows
for the incorporation of personal anecdotes and perspectives into the
historical record. Oral History is a valuable tool for preserving the memories,
experiences, and perspectives of individuals and communities, and for enriching
our understanding of the past.
About The 1947 Partition Archive
They are a
crowdsourced community-based archive that trains and empowers people to
document, preserve and share oral histories of Partition witnesses in your
community. They consist of ‘citizen historians’ from all walks of life
dedicated to documenting the people's history of the 1947 Partition since 2010.
They aim to ensure that the Partition history is not forgotten by recording
over 10,200 witness oral histories from 14 countries in over 36 languages and
dialects, including digital copies of antiquated photographs, documents, and
images of personal objects of historical value, gathered from personal
collections. It was started by Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla after a 2008 trip to
the Hiroshima Peace Memorial inspired her to start recording life stories of Partition
About the Book 10,000 Memories
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.