SOAS University of London

ANNOUNCEMENT: SSAI Commemorative Conference Call

27 May 2022
IMG - call
Original print of a painting by Kamal Koria

Narratives of Refugee Memories and Resettlements

Date/time - Monday 20th June, 3pm to 8pm
Venue - Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre


A commemorative conference on Narratives of Refugee Memories and Resettlements is taking place on 20th June that stems from the IKE funded SOAS Library exhibition on refugee memories (running dates: 9 May to 30 June) building up to the library’s 50th-year celebrations. 'Unlocking SOAS Collections’, the Wolfson Gallery exhibits provide the creative lens to look again at the archives of Partition in 1947 and the post Partition settlement history of displaced people of South Asia and beyond. The display is dotted with original prints of artists such as Amarjeet Nandhra and Kamal Koria, photographs of the late Mohamed Amin -- frontline cameraman extraordinaire, among others collections and the West Wall curated by Nazes Afroz.

The long shadow of South Asian displacement of millions across borders merges with the timeline of the development of each newly born nation-state – Pakistan, the Republic of India (celebrating 75 years of Independence), and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (51 years of Independence). The effects of Partition in this polyphonic narrative are, however, far-reaching and follow uncharted routes as family connections appear scattered. South Asia, in this sense, is not just restricted by its territories, as the post-colonial diasporic subject shares a common history of the colonial past. Labour trajectories are transnational and have been subject to common colonial administrative practices. The British Ugandan Asian exodus at 50 years, in particular, ties with those who have the working experience of dual migration and lineages from South Asia, Africa to the UK. Such stories are also connected to a global history of poverty, challenged by the emerging journalism of social reportage in the post Second World War decades. Photojournalism had a definitive impact on the circulation of refugee images that ignited social and political campaigns worldwide.

The conference call is meant to address these trends and interests in the spatial dynamics of the Partition literature, as opposed to its temporal significance

Papers are invited to address the following themes but are not limited to these:

  • Unlocking Partition and Post Partition Archives
  • Partition literature  
  • Narratives of resettlement and development 
  • Counter-narratives of memory and resettlement
  • Post-colonial conditions of humanitarian crises
  • Identity politics (such as caste, religion, ethnicity, language) 
  • Meanings and Ideas about home and belonging 
  • Circulating images, texts, and oral traditions
  • Photojournalism and audiovisual collections
  • Social and political campaigns

To present a paper, photo essay or film, please contact Dr Sanjukta Ghosh (SSAI) at with a title and abstract of 150 words, latest by 10 June.