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The Scars You Can't See
a community collaborative project

We experienced angst, pathos, and tears. Again, laughter, jokes, and "PAAN’ making sessions, along with indigenous forms of poetry and song that came to us as performances while they were engaging themselves in the process of art making, like working on a "KATHA," stitching experiences and memories about their pre-migration lives in Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), drawing lines depicting ‘border’, and telling stories through songs (in ‘Bangal’ diction) from their childhood and collective domestic know-how. Villagers would also gladly share their domestic household objects with us like "PIRI," as well as more emotionally charged objects that they had brought from the other side of the border such as ‘LANGOL ER ICH’, ‘HAMAN DISTA," "GAIRI PATIL," and "JOLER KOLOSH." They extensively shared the various challenging encounters and confrontations along with the underlying stories of agony and anguish and the forceful migration caused by partition—the pain of leaving one’s own soil and coming to a new place, trying to adjust, and eventually coining it as their "home. “Another very exciting aspect of the project was the involvement of the kids…. Be it expressing how they felt about the concept of a ‘border’ by drawing on a piece of paper, or sometimes through innocent facial expressions and verbal submissions and exchanges that we had with them... I was deeply moved to experience how vocally an interactive space came to life when a community of people coexisted and collaborated to recognize and reveal the scars caused by the partition and, consequently, migration that they wouldn't see otherwise. I felt it was all motivated by the peace of sharing and, at times, an absolute need to share. Project envisaged and conceptualized by - Ayan Mukherjee

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