SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

SSAI Commemorative Conference: Narratives of Refugee Memories and Resettlements


Date: 20 June 2022Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 20 June 2022Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

IMG - Narratives of Refugee Memories and Resettlements
Photo by Mohamed Amin


You are cordially invited to join us for an exhibition tour of SOAS Library and a Commemorative Conference on Narratives of Refugee Memories and Resettlements

Conference Summary

This commemorative conference is an outreach event based on the SOAS Library exhibition themed on refugee memories (9 May to 30 June 2022). The Wolfson Gallery located inside the library hosts an exhibition on ‘Narratives of Refugee Memories’ curated by Dr Sanjukta Ghosh (SOAS South Asia Institute). ‘Unlocking SOAS Collections’, the 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. Nazes Afroz (BBC World Service) has curated the West Wall exhibition Uncertain Landscape: refugee memories of Kolkata.

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 commemorative conference engages with new conversations in the field of refugee memories spanning the nation-states. Transnational connections are highlighted among diasporic communities with an exclusive screening of Children of Partition – an oral history of Pothoharis; the British Ugandan Asians at 50 chaired by Alan J. Critchley JP (BUA50 Chair) for a media-led panel by the renowned photojournalist Bhasker Solanki who has filmed in over 100 countries and BUA50 Producer, Paresh Solanki among various speakers. Refugee settlements as far as Canada emerge in the keynote speech by Professor Michael J Molloy (Carleton University, Ontario) who was second in command at the Kampala office during the time of the expulsion.


  • 2:30 pm SOAS Library Gallery Tour (Main Building Reception) led by Dr Sanjukta Ghosh
  • 3:00 to 4:00pm: Reception and Networking (BGLT)

Conference Introductions

4:00 to 6:00 pm: Panel 1: Remembering Partition

  • Exclusive Film screening of Children of Partition – An Oral History of Pothoharis; Introduced by Bhupinder Singh Bhasin (The Pothohar Association, UK)
  • Panel talks by Dr Uditi Sen (Nottingham University), Dr Aditi Kumar (SAA-JNU and Warwick); Syeda Saadia Gardezi (Co-Founder of Project Daastan) and Dr Antara Datta (Royal Holloway, University of London)

6:15 to 8:00 pm: PANEL 2: British Ugandan Asians at 50

  • The film ‘I Walk This Path’, an introduction by Alan Critchley (Chair of BUA@50)
  • Launch of oral history videos; excerpts from Prof Akbar Vohra and others.
  • Paresh Solanki – Ethics of recording oral history (and remembering Mohamed Amin).
  • Bhasker Solanki (Photojournalist) - Filming refugees, from the Uganda experience to the crisis in Ukraine.

Conference Keynote

Prof Michael J Molloy (Carleton University, Canada) UGX: Canada's Ugandan Asian Refugee Movement, Uganda's Loss, Canada's Gain


Click here to register

 India Overseas Trust and BUA@50.

Organised by Dr Sanjukta Ghosh (SOAS South Asia Institute) as an outreach programme for the SOAS library exhibition themed on refugee memories supported by SOAS Impact and Knowledge Exchange Fund 2020-21. 

The conference is partnered with the India Overseas Trust and BUA@50.

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