The 1947 Partition of India displaced between 10 to 12 million people, creating an overwhelming refugee crisis in the newly constituted territories.
If you enjoy a trip down memory lane, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's first immersive exhibit is for you. The filmmaker reflects on the largest mass migration ever witnessed which took place exactly 70 years ago; putting a human face on history, asking what it means to find and feel at home.
Al-Hamra Arts Council in Lahore will be turned into a time machine today and tomorrow, transporting attendees back in time, when countless people left their homes during the partition of the Indian subcontinent.
Called #HOME1947, the exhibit will display these refugee narratives at the Heritage Now festival.
The display will include a series of documentary films, a gallery installation, an experiential virtual reality and sound installation, recreating the long-lost sights, sounds and smells of what millions once called home. As the refugee crisis continues to affect millions across the world, #HOME1947 shows the audience, partition not through the words of historians and politicians, but through the eyes of those who lived through it.
Talking to Images, Sharmeen shares: "I hope to creative more immersive installations, #HOME1947 premiered in Manchester to rave reviews and all day at the Al-Hamra, we've had hundreds of people, who have left too emotional sometimes to even speak! Families have visited with grandparents, it's been a shared experience."
"It has truly been one of the highlights of my film-making career to have created something that has resonated so deeply with people wherever it's shown. Parts of it were shown in Bombay also this year."
She adds: "I am a storyteller and I really wanted to create an experience using different mediums such as virtual reality, films, photography, music, to create an experience centered around what it meant to leave your home in 1947."
"This installation is about the loss people felt, the things they remember leaving behind, the things they took. It's also about the friendships they could no longer carry on with, the empty corridors, the homes they had to abandon. We've always looked at partition from a historical context and I wanted to make it personal, to evoke empathy."
The exhibition will also be travelling to Karachi at the Frere Hall on November 17, 2017.