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Exploring the Global Legacy of Partition through Arts Practice and Research


August 2022 saw the 75th anniversary of the Partition of India (1947). An event of vast and far-reaching historical significance, it saw violence and killings on a horrific scale and millions displaced across a newly imposed border, with some groups often suffering doubly as they were driven overseas to Africa and into the wider Desi diaspora. It resurfaces in unexpected ways and forms and continues to ripple out across generations caught up in renewed sectarian violence.

Artists and researchers have responded in a range of ways to this anniversary and this ongoing legacy. They have been unearthing untold stories, often traumatic, and capturing them in writing, imagery, theatre, poetry and visual art, both graphic and digital. This work has been driven by the need to capture the testimony of a generation which will soon pass and which still holds loving memory of the event, but also by the need of younger generations to understand their complex heritage - as well as the need to reconnect with a homeland lost or unknown, to heal and to reconcile. It also gives us occasion to reflect on the under-represented dimensions of partition, on the experiences of Punjabis, Kashmiris, for instance, or on the often untold stories of Bangladeshis which are too often entangled within wider South Asian narratives, but which also came to into sharper relief with celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh last year. Finally, it sensitises us to other experiences of partition, both historical and ongoing, be they in Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, Palestine, Korea or elsewhere.

The together/apart programme runs from October 31st to November 9th and offers a range of events that bring together artists, researchers, teachers, students and diverse publics. We will talk about, listen to and learn about the complex and layered stories of partitions, reflect on how arts practice can interact productively with research and teaching to work on difficult theme and others like it - and get involved ourselves in the making of art as part of the process.

Corinne Jaber, actress Suman Gujral, visual and spoken word artist

Corinne Jaber (left) and Suman Gujral (right.)

The programme centres on the visit of IAS Visiting Fellow Corinne Jaber, an award-winning Paris based actress, director and writer of German-Syrian heritage. She will be workshopping her play ’The Bus that didn’t stop’, which draws on Pakistani oral histories to explore the legacy of partition, though the playwright’s connections to the French, German and Arabic speaking worlds placing these stories in a transnational context. The programme also involves the visit of Suman Gujral, a Hertfordshire-based graphic artist and poet of Punjabi Sikh heritage, who will exhibit four of her works at the Warwick Arts Centre and also run a community workshop based on stitch work and story-telling.


Date Time Event Descriptions Location
Mon Oct 31 - Nov 8 various times Corinne Jaber launches workshops for her play 'The bus that never stopped'. Rehearsals during the evenings of week 6 and daytime hours of week 7 (until Nov 8). Studio 1/2 in Faculty of Arts Building (FAB).
Tues Nov 1 19:30 Community Outreach Event: Borderlines. Sharing Stories of Division, Separation and Connection. A public conversation hosted by Mohammed Ali and Soul City Arts, James Hodkinson and Corinne Jaber. Refreshments provided. All welcome, booking essential. SCA Base, Unit 1, Porthope Rd. Sparkhill, Birmingham.
Tues Nov 8 10:30 to 18:00 Community Arts Programme. Tour of 'Radical Landscapes' exhibition, Warwick Arts Centre; Workshop with Suman Gujral; Tour of Faculty of Arts Building; Screening of co-created film material (SMLC/ Various artists); Dinner. Participation by enquiry/ booking only. Warwick Arts Centre and Faculty of Arts Building, Warwick.
Tues Nov 8 18:30 to 20:00 Open evening workshop 'The Bus that didn't stop.' Participation by enquiry/ booking only. Studio 2, FAB.
Wed Nov 9 16:00 to 18:00

Roundtable Discussion. Together/apart: Exploring Partition through arts and research: a sociable, equitable multi-perspective conversation in the round, bringing together academics, teachers, community voices, artists and arts leaders. Featuring face-to-face meeting, online participation from international guests (Anam Zakaira, Haroon Khalid, Saadia Gardezi). We will talk about experiences of partition, though also about methods of blending arts and research generally. This will be a diverse, inclusive and experimental event.

Occulus OC 1.06

To register interest in the programmes, please contact the producer, Dr James Hodkinson at: