Child Narrators and Their Displacement: An Analysis of Neelkontho Pakhir Khonje

In 1947 the independence of India came at the cost of a bloody and brutal partition of the territory. Contrary to the claims of the contemporary native politicians, the Partition not only triggered a mass-migration across the borders of Bengal and Punjab, but also created the premise for a superficial game of establishing the superiority of one religious community over the other through violence and bloodshed. Hence, the subsequent death-toll and the collective sense of loss, trauma and despair made the Partition the ‘founding trauma’ (LaCapra, 1998) for the people of the Indian subcontinent. While the policies and the actions leading up to this trauma were entirely based on the politics of the adult world, the children were caught amidst the cross-fire, as they had no say in the adult politics and were considered to be the passive onlookers. Shreya Das attempts to explore the experiences of such children, as represented in fiction.

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“Frontier Dreams: Afghanistan in the Bengali Literary Imagination” with Mou Banerjee

The Center for the Humanities of University of Wisconsin- Madison organized a virtual Friday lunch event titled, “Frontier Dreams: Afghanistan in the Bengali Literary Imagination” with Mou Banerjee. Banerjee, an Asst. Prof. in History at the UW-Madison, talked extensively on the history of Afghanistan during the British colonial rule of the Indian subcontinent, particularly from 1920s to 1940s. She pointed out the ways in which Afghanistan endured in Bengali imagination of that time, as opposed to in the British Colonial imagination. The discussion primarily revolved around the juxtaposition of the accounts of the landscape and history of Afghanistan through Syed Mujtaba Ali’s genre defyng work Deshe Bideshe (1948) or At Home and in Foreign Lands, against the occidental view of Afghanistan as a dangerous and ungovernable frontier. Tamoha Majumdar reports on the virtual event that was held on Friday, 4th March, 2022.

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Report on Exploring the Education Development Nexus Through a Migration (Im)mobility Lens

Even though the connections between education and migration are not always explored thoroughly, education, migration, and development connect and interact at the local, national, and worldwide levels to affect individuals, communities, societies, ideas, values, and action. The 2nd Two Day Teachers’ Workshop conducted by Calcutta Research Group concluded on 24th February with Prof. Elaine Chase and Dr. Amy North from UCL, London discussing the education development nexus through a migration (im)mobility lens, Debashrita Dwivedy reports.

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A Report on Pedagogy of Migration Studies: A Roundtable

Migration Studies, in the light of the COVID19 pandemic, has been faced with newer questions of public health-with the intertwining of both livelihood and health concerns, especially in the context of forced migration. Calcutta Research Group (CRG), a forerunner the academic discussion around migration and displacement from the South Asian perspective, organized a roundtable to examine the pedagogical scopes and challenges of the field, on 13th January, 2022. Nirajana Chakraborty reports.

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Report on ‘Women, Migration and Cultural Production: A Panel Discussion’

As a part of the Second Two Days Teachers’ Workshop on Syllabus Making and Research Methods in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, organized by the Calcutta Research Group in collaboration with Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna – a session on ‘Women, Migration and Cultural Production: A Panel Discussion’ took place. The discussion featured Asha Singh from the Center for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, and Aparna Eswaran from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi who respectively talked and fascinated the audience with their insights on Bhojpuri Oral Folk Song Tradition and the Tamil Poetry in Sri Lanka amidst the civil war. Rishiraj Sen reports on the session organized on 23rd February 2022.

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Survivors of 1947 partition are true ambassadors of peace and love in these divided lands

Marvi Slathia writes about her experiences of working with the 1947 Partition Archives. Her work of collecting memories and narratived of the partition of British India helped her realise the message of peace and harmony that the partition survivors continue to carry with themselves.

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Report on the book launch of Memories of Arrival: A Voice from the Margins by Adhir Biswas

The launch of Adhir Biswas’s much anticipated book Memories of Arrival: A Voice of the Margins translated by V. Ramaswamy and jointly published by Sage Publications and Stree-Samya Books took place on 23rd February 2022. The event organised by Calcutta Research Group (CRG), was a part of CRG’s second two-day Teacher’s Workshop on Syllabus Making and Research Methods, Tamoha Majumdar reports.

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Hooghly: A river, a book, an exhibition and a sonic experiment        

For several years at the Calcutta Research Group, we have engaged with the idea of Calcutta as a migrant city—a city shaped by migration flows, a city of refuge, of transit. Most of these migrations became possible through an estuary of the mighty Ganges: the Hooghly. Considered holy to practicing Hindus, carrying on both sides factories, warehouses, temples, pollutants and emissions, part of the fertile Bengal delta, the site of the riverine Calcutta port—Hooghly carries within its changing contours multiple meanings, metaphors and materialities. In this short piece Samata Biswas explores a 2020 book on the river, an exhibition and a sonic installation by Goethe-Institut/ MAxMueller Bhavan, Kolkata in 2021.

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Review: The Nutmeg’s Curse

Along with a global pandemic, 2021 witnessed almost all known forms of catastrophic climactic events, from forest fire to floods, from heat waves to typhoons. The Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow brought together climate activists and politicians from across the world–but perhaps the political will fell short of desired climate action. Nirajana Chakrabroty reviews Amitav Ghosh’s 2021 book The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis, to find some different answers.

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