Across contemporary South Asia, events and actions that leave individuals and communities bereft, continue through the routine omission or targeted erasure of counter-memory in official record-keeping. The Archive on Legacies of Conflict in South Asia: The Right To Heal is committed to preserving historically significant materials and aiding the work of remembrance and accountability being undertaken by people’s collectives, social movements, civil society members, organizations and institutions.
Hosting an archive of materials pertaining to the Global South at an institution of privilege in the Global North must prompt continual conversation and reflection among the curators on the catastrophic consequences ensued by colonial archives and museums through record keeping, appropriation and representation. It necessitates deep engagement with concerns and issues relating to the preservation of materials that require our attentiveness. It asks for ongoing reflection on ethical questions pertaining to archiving as relevant to post/colonial relations of power and decolonial knowledge formations.
IMAGE Arpana Caur, 1947 (Memories), 5 x 5.6 ft, Oil on Canvas, 1997, © Image courtesy of the artist.