1947 Partition Archive Wins Cal Humanities Grant and More!
This past week India and Pakistan have celebrated their 68-year-old independence. Amongst the festivities and excitement, haunting memories of partition remain. The division along religious lines resulted in the mass migration of about 15 million people, each with their own stories to tell.
Inspired by the experiences of her own family members, Guneeta Bhalla founded the 1947 Partition Archive startup as a source for survivors to share their experiences. The archive has been collecting oral stories for the past four years, with a growing total of 2,000 stories.
The Archive workers, known as citizen historians, have worked with survivors of the partition to record their oral stories and share them with others. Bhalla taught people how to record oral history interviews via free online seminar and the Archive has built a network of 450 volunteers aged 13-85 from more than 150 cities across the world.
The SkyAlum team is driven by their looming time limit. Those who experienced the partition are in their 80s and later, and the team has set a goal to record 7,000 stories by 2017, the 70th anniversary of partition.
1947 Partition Archive was awarded a very competitive grant from Cal Humanities. The grant concentrates on community-centered, story-based public humanities projects about the California experience. The grant will fund the Archive’s story collection in California and reach a greater pool of storytellers. The team has also received a gift for $100,000 from an anonymous donor via the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The team will be hosting a number of events in the Voices of Partition series lined up, in SF, and at Stanford and Kansas State in the future.