In Solidarity

This is a message of support to all of you, our friends and colleagues and loyal supporters over the years.

We are deeply sorry for those of you who have lost loved ones in the last few days, or are struggling to get them medical help. We are sorry for those of you who may have caught the virus, and are suffering, not only from the illness but also from the anxiety and fear that accompanies it.

Wherever you may be, we want to let you know that you are not alone. We are afraid too, but we are with you in this battle. Be safe, wear double masks, and—if you are able to—then please help the community of volunteers and good samaritans in your city in any way that you can.

Please, please, be well. Stay well.

Aesthetics of Resistance: Revisiting 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War through Various Art Forms

Inviting the teaching and learning community to a workshop series conducted by experienced teachers, Sunita Biswas (Kolkata, India) and Shafia Afroz (Dhaka, Bangladesh) drawing from the arts-based research on the 1971 Liberation War by Sushrita Acharjee for History for Peace. Entry through prior registration only.
Using paintings, photography, songs and collectible ephemera, the ‘Aesthetics of Resistance’ research papers offer an exciting range of possibilities for teachers addressing the Bangladesh Liberation War in the classroom (virtual or otherwise).

Entry through prior registration only.
Register for Session 3 at:
Session 3 of the workshop series will be on ‘The Lasting Impact of Collectible Ephemera’.
Research to be presented by Sushrita Acharjee, followed by a high school teachers’ workshop designed by Sunita Biswas.
Last date for registering for Session 3 is 24 June 2021.

From our archives:

Between State Narratives and People’s Memories of 1971

In her efforts to explore the intergenerational memory of the 1947 Partition between India and Pakistan was birthed the idea of working on the 1971 Partition, particularly given the relative sense of disconnectedness and unfamiliarity with Bangladesh and the 1971 war. Little was known about the people with whom Pakistan had shared twenty-four years of history and how differentially Pakistan remembered the 1971 war vis-à-vis Bangladesh. It thus began as a work to understand her own history and unravel those nuances, which now stands as a seminal text in reading the 1971 Partition. Oral histories complemented with textbook analyses, visits to schools and travels to museums and sites memorializing 1971 juxtaposed with state narratives—this study is critical in that it brings out the implications of the 1971 Partition on everyday lives lived through that tumultuous period of extreme violence, and how that has been remembered and forgotten by the ‘three children of Partition’—India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Teaching History Without Political Borders
a talk by acclaimed Bangladesh Liberation War scholar, Afsan Chowdhury

‘Establishment history survives by repeating what has been taught before, and royal histories are replaced by their modern versions, the history of governments and politics.
The 1971 war of independence is our most important political historical event, but we focus mostly on official institutional narratives and not on interactions between society and the war. A very different kind of war is, however, caught in a narrow beam, partly because research on the experience of ordinary people is limited.
Since identities are also political tools, history becomes a complex space where contesting members of the ruling class fight over the right to define: What is history? It is not an academic space but a political one, a legal one and sometimes a violent one. But this conflict also shows how deeply significant history teaching is.
History produces evidence to assist the ruling classes and justify governance decisions. There are regional, national and local interpretations of history, and they all carry political barcodes. The challenge of teaching history today is to reduce political influences and methodological limitations.’

Read the full transcript of the talk here:

The History for Peace Newsletter –  April 2021 is out!

Click here to access

In this newsletter we have for you:

  • The Shared Histories journal: freely available to download and access.
  • Two new teaching/learning resources on Migration: Migration and Film, and Migration and Literature drawing from the wealth of literature Seagull Books has brought to readers world over.
  • On the occasion of 50 years of Bangladesh, a four-part module on the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War that encourages students to explore the subject through the avenues of photography, songs, paintings and collectible ephemera.

For those of you who missed or would like to re-visit them, we have put together a quick recap of the events we have hosted so far this year:

  • Witness to Loss: Parasher’s Partition Sketches.
  • Our second museum learning series, Time Travelling through Art: Plassey to Partition, in collaboration with Achi Association and DAG Museums.

Along with the latest additions to our website

  • Ahimsa Conversations by Rajni Bakshi.
  • The Making of the Indian Constitution: A Focus on Process and Methods, by Arun Thiruvengadam.

Finally, we have for you a curated range of resources from across the web on Migration, and a window to exploring the topic beyond the classroom, in our This & That segment.

Do remember to sign up to our new website, in case you haven’t already
We promise to keep bringing to you critical and engaging content through the years to come.

71 years ago on 26 November, the Indian Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly, replacing the Government of India Act 1935 and imparting the nascent Indian nation constitutional supremacy. What better occasion to get your young ones introduced to this document if they haven’t been already? Here’s a wonderful reading Gulan and Jayant Kripalani recently put together for us of former Chief Justice Leila Seth’s 𝘞𝘦, 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢 (Puffin, 2010). Listen, re-familiarize, share.