Sharmeen Obaid’s upcoming exhibition will make Partition a human experience instead of a history lesson

The human experience of a mass migration remains mostly unknown to generations of people born after Pakistan came into being. We’ve only heard stories or maybe read a personal account or two circulating on social media.

Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s latest interactive exhibition is set to just change that.

The two-time Academy Award-winner is set to premiere her first immersive experiential exhibition, HOME1947, at the Manchester International Festival (MIF) 2017. Chinoy will also be the first Pakistani film-maker to debut her project at MIF this 2017.

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.

This exhibition collects stories from people who left their homes and crossed borders during the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent. It is based on exploring what the concept of home meant to them.

The exhibit will take place at the Manchester International Festival (MIF) 2017 in the UK
The exhibit will take place at the Manchester International Festival (MIF) 2017 in the UK

The display will include a walkway featuring short documentaries, audio clips, written material along with a grand collection of photographs, illustrated art, oral histories, the insides of abandoned havelis, a 360 degree experience and historical material.

“I grew up listening to my grandparents’ stories about the childhood homes they left behind,” Chinoy is quoted as saying in a press release. “The friendships they longed to rekindle, the mango trees under which they played,” she says, “Home 1947 is my ode to that generation.”

HOME1947 will feature the refugee narratives in the form of photography, sound design short documentaries and installations to be displayed at MIF17 from July 1, 2017 to July 9, 2017.

To celebrate the opening, MIF17 will be hosting an evening of Sufi music “Sangam 2017”, featuring Sanam Marvi from Pakistan and Harshdeep Kaur from India. The evening will be hosted by Noreen Khan of the BBC Asian Network.

MIF was established in 2005 and hosted their first festival in 2007. Since then, this artist-led festival is staged every two years in Manchester, UK and has exhibited various art forms from different parts of the world ranging from music to theatre to photography to interior design. MIF has hosted world premieres by artists as diverse as Björk, Steve McQueen, Robert Wilson, Wayne McGregor, Maxine Peake, Abida Parveen and Marina Abramović to name a few.

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