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Recently, the Mittal Institute teamed up with the Peabody Essex Museum for a discussion on “Partition’s Legacy: South Asian Art on the Line.”

Post-independent South Asia is depicted in many forms, with the intent to make sense of its complexities. After the Partition of the subcontinent along the Radcliffe Line, the socio-political ruptures and conflicts that ensued created numerous questions: Did the cataclysmic energy released thorough the disruptions caused by these migrations offer new possibilities and opportunities to South Asians? Or, is the memory of Partition forever one that is dogged by the legacies of trauma?

The panel discussion concentrated on artworks that emerged post-1947, including the Peabody Essex Museum’s own collection, that capture the paradoxical spirit of the Partition in relation to complicated feelings about mourning, celebration, healing, and hope.

Watch the video above to learn from the below experts on these works of art:

  • Jennifer Leaning, Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Zehra Jumabhoy, South Asian Historian and Curator, Peabody Essex Museum
  • Siddhartha V. Shah, Director of Education and Civic Engagement and Curator of Indian and South Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum


Header image on homepage: Maqbool Fida Husain, Gandhiji (detail), 1972. Oil on canvas. Gift of the Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, 2001. E301098. (c) The Estate of Maqbool Fida Husain. Image courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.