About the project

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Partition of India, this research responds to the urgent need to capture cultural memories of Partition in the British Asian community.

At the end of colonial rule in British India, the decision was taken by the British Government to divide India into two separate states: India and Pakistan. This division resulted in considerable social and political unrest, mass migration across the borders that were created, and one of the worst outbreaks of communal violence on the Indian subcontinent.

Memories of Partition continue to shape contemporary British Asian community relations and this research makes a transformative intervention in the field of Memory Studies and the sociological analysis of migrant communities.

MMPI explores the following questions:

  • What memories of Partition persist for British Asian people and how these feature in everyday life;
  • How memories of Partition are communicated over time and across space, (within and between the UK and South Asia) including the role of social and mass media;
  • How social practices and processes of remembering Partition inform the (re)construction and maintenance of communities and the idea of community itself;
  • What role Partition memories play in constructing British Asian identities in relation to narratives of Britishness;
  • How gender and generation shape British Asian memories of Partition and its role in community and national identities;
  • How post-Partition communities spanning the UK and South Asia are produced and maintained and the forms of social and cultural communication e.g. small scale family stories to formal public commemoration.