Online Talk: Remnants of Partition w/ Aanchal Malhotra
Join historian Aanchal Malhotra in conversation with independent curator Moad Musbahi for an insightful discussion of the material history of the Partition.
New Delhi-based historian Aanchal Malhotra discusses her latest work, the first and only study of the material history of the 1947 Partition of India, focusing on the belongings carried by refugees, to coincide with the paperback publication of Malhotra’s work Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided. She will be in conversation with Moad Musbahi, a curator whose work investigates migration and the forms of knowledge that it engenders. The conversation will focus on the ambivalence between the fixity and transience of memory, and various ways for maintaining remembrance.
About the book
The emotion and trauma of the Partition are buried deep, but Aanchal Malhotra has found a way to recover them. Through the possessions saved by her own great-grandparents as they fled their homes, she discovers the unique power of such objects: to unlock the secrets of a colossal human migration, and a life that once was.
Remnants of Partition is a remarkable alternative history, telling the family stories hidden within items carried between the new India and Pakistan, amid chaos and violence. They uncover a rich tapestry of pain and rupture, but also of hope and connection – in belonging through belongings, and identities reforged.
From a string of pearls to a young woman’s poetry, this extraordinary book gives voice to the voiceless, restoring the everyday to a great drama of the twentieth century. Its power and poignancy will haunt the reader.
About the author
Aanchal Malhotra is an oral historian who writes on the 1947 Partition and its related topics. Her debut book, Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided, was shortlisted for British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, the Hindu Lit for Life Non Fiction Prize, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize and the Shakti Bhatt First Book prize. She is the co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory and currently lives in Delhi.