History for Peace annual conference 2024

The Idea of Belonging

Belonging is a multifaceted concept. It goes beyond mere physical presence or legal status—it involves emotional attachment and a sense of acceptance and validation within a particular community or nation. In the context of India’s diverse landscape, belonging takes on added complexity. What exactly does it mean to feel like one belongs? Is the sense of belonging tied to language, ethnicity, religion, caste, socioeconomic class, or perhaps food habits? And why are we increasingly questioning who truly belongs in India? Has the rise of majoritarianism made it more challenging to define who belongs and who doesn’t?

Furthermore, as societies evolve and undergo demographic shifts—through globalization, urbanization, internal displacements and forced migrations—how does the notion of belonging evolve? What roles do historical narratives, familial ties and personal experiences play? Besides, while we look at history to understand this complex idea, what about those whose overlooked stories do not even belong to our ‘official’ class histories—people who are Adivasi, Dalit, queer and/or differently abled, among others?

As educators shaping young minds, these are some of the urgent anddiverse questions that we will explore in the 8th Annual History for PeaceConference in Calcutta in August 2024.

1, 2, 3 August 2024
The Tollygunge Club

Aloka Parasher-Sen, Amir Theilhaber, Angana Chaterji, Apoorvanand, Bhanwar Meghwanshi, Kanaan Gopinathan, Shamara Wetitmuny, Dr Kham Khan Suan Huisung, Kanato Chophy, Karen Donoghue

Workshop Facilitators:
Sudhanva Deshpande

Programme and registration details coming soon

Celebrating 100 years of
K. G. Subramanyan


K. G. Subramanyan

on view till Saturday 15 June 2024
Seagull Bookstore
36c, S.P. Mukherjee Road, Calcutta 700025

Mani Da took up his brush, and began to paint the light.

The darks made way on the once-white paper now turning yellow, like dusk arriving in time.

As one looks at his work, one comes across an overwhelming number of drawings in black. What the black symbolizes can only be up for debate. The works in this exhibition span a long period of his life and thus have no unifying link, barring the obvious—his ingenuity of holding a feeling, any feeling, so close to his heart that it inevitably spills over onto paper.

Of the works on display, the presence of a few is more obvious than others; in them, light appears as the protagonist, asking to be seen. In the others, it is more subtle, more gentle, forever just out of our reach. The darks of his acrylics, his watercolours and his inks forma puddle on the page, swirl like oil on water and take their place at the edges. The light often straggles about, in a mood of its own, so fervent a character. We try to hold still this light, hold it up for the viewer to gaze at and perhaps ask them to remember the last time a tree glowed red at a traffic signal or the last time the afternoon sun filtered through the curtains and stretched out over the starched pillowcase.

Sabyasachi Samanta

This fortnight from
History for Peace
Culture and School
A talk by
Padma Sarangapani

I believe that grounding in culture as a need for human formation has by and large been set aside as an aim of education in India. Recognition of culture, and diversity of culture, has been well documented as an aim in education, even in our National Curriculum Framework. However, by and large, we have followed a model in which being rooted in one’s community culture is part of the private realm, to be addressed in the home and the community. Grounding in culture is seen as primarily the work of home socialization and acculturation and not as the work of the school. School is expected to keep its focus on epistemic educational aims—literacy, numeracy, learning of science, history and geography, and the development of skills and capabilities, including physical skills—and the formation of a public culture.