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Partition Trail

In 2017, Birmingham Ormiston Academy (BOA) and The Old Rep are collaborating with Sampad, Birmingham’s foremost South Asian Arts organisation, on their Partition Trail project.

The project examines the social, cultural and emotional consequences of one of the most harrowing events in modern history, the Partition of India in 1947. It will capture personal memories from local people who were directly affected by the sweeping turmoil of the Partition, recording their first-hand experiences as well as uncovering stories that have been passed down through families.

Many of the themes within the project, such as the concept of changing national identity, invisible partitions in today’s society and the impact of migration on younger generations, remain globally topical today.

“The Partition Trail will capture deeply-affecting accounts of one of the most significant moments in modern history. 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of India’s independence and local people who have first-hand memories of Partition are now in their seventies and older, so it’s increasingly vital to preserve their recollections to inform future generations. More widely, we hope that the real-life stories will also help people to develop a better understanding of the diverse, multi-ethnic communities of the West Midlands, while encouraging younger members of those communities to find out more about their cultural heritage”.
Urmala Jassal, Sampad’s Associate Director and project manager for the Partition Trail

Part of the project sees Sampad and, acclaimed theatre company, Stan’s Cafe delivering educational workshops across 5 learning settings of which BOA is one. These workshops will use games, creative writing and other practical activities to explain and investigate the history of Partition.

BOA students will be encouraged to consider the nature of how we remember collective and historical trauma, to ask why and how the Partition should be remembered and to reflect upon the impact Partition had on the world today, in particular celebrating the heritage of South Asian communities and culture in the local area. The final workshop day will see the participating students deliver a creative presentation to their school to share their discoveries about Partition and its impact on the world today.

“We’re so pleased to be working with Sampad on this project! The Old Rep was relaunched in 2014 as a young people-driven venue and we are committed to providing educational, cultural and artistic opportunities for young people to engage with their local communities. We strongly believe that through working with industry professionals young people not only develop wider skills related to their arts practice but also gain an insight into working professional practices and increased motivation and aspiration.”
Suzanne Priest, Associate Director: Learning & Participation at The Old Rep

Find out more about the Partition Trail project on Sampad's website

Image credit: Creative Commons via pimu (Dr GN Kazi, Flickr) licensed under CC by 2.0

Tagged Projects BOA