Manchester Museum is marking the 70th anniversary of independence and Partition with its new exhibition Memories of Partition.

The exhibition captures the memories of those affected by the 1947 Partition of India into India and Pakistan (and later Bangladesh in 1971).

The partition of India led to the largest mass migration in human history, with an estimated 15 million people being displaced, and tens of thousands of others caught up in the ensuing violence. The world-changing impact of Partition remains relatively unexplored by museums across the UK. Memories of Partition reveals the untold stories of the significance of Partition on local communities, multiculturalism and migration.

Manchester Museum has worked closely with local Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi communities in Manchester to combine oral history, social research and documentary film-making.  In doing so Memories of Partition allows members of those communities to share their stories.

Speaking of the process of putting together and hearing the stories of participants, Harriet Morgan-Shami, Project Coordinator of Memories of Partition commented, “Listening to these stories has been a great privilege. People have been so generous with their time, possessions and memories. The exhibition brings to light this significant period in history and the impact on subsequent generations of British Asians in Manchester.”

Alongside the exhibition there will also be a unique collaboration with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Come Closer will be a series of intimate performances by some of Manchester’s most exciting British Asian writers, creating new work revealing the untold stories of Partition, and how it still impacts today. Come Closer will be at the Royal Exchange Theatre on 22 and 24 September and at the Manchester Museum on 23 September.

Memories of Partition is part of Manchester Museum’s ongoing engagement with local South Asian communities – commencing with the city-wide 2017 commemoration, and culminating with the opening of Manchester Museum’s new South Asia Gallery developed in partnership with the British Museum in 2020.

When and where does the Memories of Partition exhibition take place?

Memories of Partition is exhibited at Manchester Museum from 15 August 2017 until 25 February 2018.  Memories of Partition is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and The Aziz Foundation and is a partnership project with Manchester BME Network, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Royal Exchange Theatre.