BRADFORD’S Asian communities have been asked to come forward with memories and mementos of Partition for an upcoming city centre exhibition.
Peace After Partition will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the massive changes that led to Pakistan becoming a separate country to India. The exhibition will open in the Peace Museum in June, and in preparation staff are collecting stories and artefacts relating to the period.
The exhibition’s curators say it may be one of the last chances to collect these “untold stories” from the ageing demographics of people who may remember Partition first hand.
The Partition of 1947 resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, the creation of Pakistan, and the displacement of between 10 and 12 million people.
The split led to large scale migration between the two new countries, and even altered the demographics of cities like Bradford, as many families left South Asia altogether to find new homes.
The museum’s Samayya Afzal said; “A lot of the narrative about partition is conflict. This exhibition will be looking more about how that violence was mitigated, how people overcame it and the peaceful initiatives that went on between communities.
“We have heard stories about different groups protecting each other. These are the kinds of stories we’re looking for. We want to explore people’s stories, especially those of people who live in Bradford. They might be stories from people who experienced it at the time, like parents or grandparents. The people who lived through it will be very old now. We want to document their experiences now. It is really important we document this history while we can.
“It is an event that led to a lot of families migrating from one country to another. It is not something a lot of families talk about.
“It is not always taught in school, and a lot of people from a South Asian background don’t really know much about it.”
She wants people from Bradford to contact the museum and help shape what for the exhibition takes, and what stories it should focus on.”
The museum is also eager to display artefacts from the period, and has asked families with any such items they would be willing to loan to get in touch.
The exhibition will run from May to June.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the museum on 01274 780 241.