Researcher, Lecturer, Podcaster

Partition: The Calcutta Question


As part of ResearchLive! in St Andrews in September 2015, I organised an interactive, immersive event which re-visited and questioned the legitimacy of the process through which partition was enacted. I recreated, with some creative license, a boundary commission meeting, after which the audience was asked to vote on whether Calcutta would be part of India or Pakistan. The point of the evening was to challenge the idea that national borders are fixed and stable, and to encourage the audience to think through some of the consequences of a decision that was made by those who had the least to lose. It was made on the basis of incomplete and often inaccurate information. The people most affected by the decision had no say in it, but have to carry on living with its repercussions even today.