Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided (Hardcover)
Seventy years on from the partition of India, a momentous event now recedes in memory. Despite being born into a family affected by the great divide, artist and oral historian Aanchal Malhotra had thought little about it until she encountered the objects her own great-grandparents had saved as they fled their homes: jewelry, kitchen utensils, photographs, and a pocketknife. Remnants of Partition is a unique revisiting of Partition through dozens of personal belongings carried between the new India and Pakistan, amid the chaos of communal killings and mass displacement. Hidden in these objects is the memory of a time and place, a story of migration, and a life that once was. Malhotra unearths possessions from both sides of the border, interviewing their owners and uncovering a rich tapestry of struggle, sacrifice, pain, and identities forged and unforged. From a string of pearls gifted by a maharaja to a young woman's poetry notebook, this is an extraordinary alternative history of Partition, both powerful and poignant. Aanchal Malhotra takes the material legacy of a unique human drama, and places it back in our hands as vivid, living memory.
Aanchal Malhotra is a New Delhi-based artist and oral historian working with memory and material culture. She is the co- founder of the Museum of Material Memory, a digital repository tracing family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles and antiques from the Indian subcontinent. This is her first book.