‘Unbearable Memories, Untold Stories’ Art Exhibition Commemorates 75th Anniversary of India’s Partition
Pritika Chowdhry commemorates the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 through art installations that educate and evoke empathetic responses in viewers.
CHICAGO, Illinois, USA, Aug. 10, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — August 15, 2022 marks the 75th anniversary of the partition of the Indian subcontinent and the emergence of India and Pakistan as independent nation states. The South Asia Institute is commemorating this historic event and addressing its many facets, with its upcoming exhibition, “Unbearable Memories, Unspeakable Histories: Partition Anti-Memorial Project”, which will be on view from Saturday August 6 to Saturday December 10, 2022. The title of the exhibition alludes to the painful and silenced narratives that were omitted from the dominant discourses of the 1947 partition of India.
India’s independence from colonial rule in 1947 is forever linked to its ghostly twin, Partition. Pritika Chowdhry’s exhibition studies the partition of India in 1947, which created Pakistan, and ultimately Bangladesh in 1971. Partition is central to modern identity and geopolitics in South Asia. It triggered the largest and fastest migration in human history and is often compared to the Holocaust. More than 20 million people have been displaced in an unprecedented mass migration. Around 2 million people have died in communal violence across the new border, called the Radcliffe Line.
Partition Anti-Memorial Project founded on the 60th anniversary of Partition in 2007, is Chowdhry’s ongoing research project that explores subjugated knowledge about the 1947 Partition of India and the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 to construct several experiential art installations that are temporarily anti-Partition memorials.
The partition has been described by renowned Pakistani-American historian Ayesha Jalal as “the central historical event of 20th century South Asia”. In his own words, “A defining moment that has no beginning or end, partition continues to influence how the peoples and states of postcolonial South Asia view their past, present and future.
Over the past fifteen years, Pritika Chowdhry has created ten bodies of work that address and examine the multiple facets of India’s partition from a counter-memory perspective. His anti-memorials create alternative ways of remembering and commemorating traumatic geopolitical events, from the dual lens of South Asian diasporic post-memory. “Pritika Chowdhry’s work is a powder keg of emotion, raw talent and visceral courage! I have never met a more thoughtful and theoretically engaged artist-scholar-educator-activist. Counter-Memory Project is about telling the truth, healing trauma, and forging narratives!” remarks Jacque Micieli-Voutsinas, PhD, Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Evoking corporeal bodies through a myriad of materials, the exhibition sheds light on resilience and generational resistance. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of The Score, several works by the artist will be presented in a solo retrospective exhibition at the South Asia Institute in Chicago from August 06 to December 10, 2022.
About the artist
Pritika Chowdhry is a feminist and postcolonial artist and curator, whose work is part of public and private collections. Through large-scale sculptures and site-sensitive installations that reference the body, her work commemorates unbearable memories. Having witnessed the intergenerational effects of geopolitical trauma, Chowdhry has dedicated his artistic practice to cataloging the violence of colonialism/imperialism alongside global acts of resistance.
Through her anti-memorials, Chowdhry aims to shed light on historically marginalized female voices in the representation of the score while contextualizing the global repercussions of the event. Transnational in scope, its sculptural art installations and anti-memorials bear witness to the partitions of countries, civil and military wars, riots, border violence, genocides and terrorist attacks, providing space for mourning, remembrance and reparation.
Chowdhry has exhibited nationally and internationally in group and solo shows at the Weisman Art Museum, Queens Museum, Hunterdon Museum, Islip Art Museum, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, DoVA Temporary, Brodsky Center and at the Cambridge Art Gallery.
Learn more about Pritika Chowdhry in an interview for our ongoing SAIatHome digital interview series. www.saichicago.org/sai-at-home/pritika-chowdhry, and learn more about his Partition Anti-Memorial project at https://www.pritikachowdhry.com/partition-art.
Anti-memorial partition project
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