Share your stories and views on the legacy of Partition for innovative SOAS research project

13 July 2022

The AHRC funded-project, Border Crossings, is collecting stories and views from members of the South Asian diaspora on the legacy of partition and the experiences of South Asian communities in the UK.

Our overarching aim is to gain insight into new and nuanced ways of considering the partition’s legacy within South Asian diaspora communities, as one of both border-making and border-crossing.

The Border Crossings team (Prof. Navtej Purewal, Dr. Eleanor Newbigin and Tajender Sagoo) will gather reflections, views, and attitudes around the memorialisation of partition with a focus on changes or shifts across generations of the South Asian diaspora, and amongst non-South Asians in the UK between July - February 2023.

To share your views or experiences or if you would like to receive more information about the project’s activities please contact .

About the Border Crossings project

Border Crossings is a SOAS project funded by the AHRC which seeks to examine how public narratives and memories of the partition of 1947 have developed and changed over time. By specifically focusing on the experiences of South Asia diaspora communities in the UK, the project will explore how Virtual Reality (VR) technology and visual media can be used to facilitate new dialogues across different generations and communities.

Closer attention has come to be placed on the experiential dimensions which diasporas pose to the partition and its legacies, while opening up the social categories through which we understand the past and future of the South Asian subcontinent beyond those of religion and nation.

Building on the research team’s expertise on gender, borders, the partition, and religious identities in South Asia, the project will consider how historically embedded logics of religious and other forms of difference, logics that are heavily grounded in memories and public narratives of the partition of 1947, are experienced, navigated and even challenged by diaspora communities in the UK. With the understanding of border crossings as pertaining to both the partition as well as diasporic migration and settlement, the research for the project is interested in engaging with South Asian communities in the UK by exploring how rethinking the past can help understand the present through less bounded logics of belonging and identity.

The Border Crossing’s project will work with Project Dastaan at the UK venues of their VR experience ‘Exploring 75 Years of Partition and Migration: Child of Empire and Lost Migrations’ from July-October 2022 including the Wolfson Gallery at SOAS from 1 September - 30 October. The project will use innovative and participatory methods to facilitate cross-community conversations with interested participants to engage with themes related to South Asian communities in the UK, the legacy of partition, and overlapping experiences and trajectories.