Archive, Counter-memory

The Archive on Legacies of Conflict in South Asia: The Right To Heal is witness to the systemic disfigurements, displacements and possibilities of the post/colonial condition in South Asia in the latter half of the 20th and through the 21st century. It is a gathering place of counter-memory. This Archive is a digital and physical repository of materials relating to political conflict and victimization, social and gendered violence and human rights crimes. It holds materials on subaltern resistance and agency in seeking psychosocial restitution and well-being, and defining justice and accountability.

This Archive honors what may otherwise be marginalized, forgotten or desecrated to the public and to history.​ The Archive highlights experiences, voices and perspectives that are not widely available and have not been previously assembled into a comprehensive collection. The repository offers insight into the profound ruptures and dispossessions of history. It underscores the continuities and discontinuities of these fault lines in the present and provides contexts for shared engagement. The materials being preserved are often endangered and, in instances, the conditions on the ground are fraught.

The Archive houses relevant original, primary source materials and selective secondary materials. Materials in physical and digital form include oral history narratives and ethnographic records; notes, correspondence and personal letters; witness testimonies, interviews and first information records; photographs; films; sound recordings; legal documents and circulars; out-of-circulation reports; political and cultural artifacts and ephemera; and art, music and humor. The objective is to acquire digitized copies of materials, and only acquire physical materials that donors feel they are unable to preserve. No copyright or intellectual property rights are transferred.

The Archive encompasses issues and events of political conflict that have unfolded across South Asia since 1947. They include but are not limited to: majoritarian and massified violence in India; militarized governance and human rights crimes in Kashmir since 1990, including events following the siege of August 5, 2019, and civil society resistance; civil war and gendered violence in Sri Lanka; martial law and social violence in Pakistan; civil war and democracy in Nepal; political rights and civil liberties in Bangladesh; intersectional issues of class, religion and religious freedom, gender, sexuality, ability, caste, ethnicity, indigeneity, self-determination, minoritization, statelessness, human rights, majoritarianism, and contestations regarding democracy and nation-making; and the individual collections of scholars, writers and civil society leaders across South Asia and its diasporas. The curated materials underscore the value of memory formations that take place counter to dominant and official histories, experiences and knowledge making.

Beginning in May 2020, the Archive and related digital exhibits will be rendered to the public over time, in fragments.