Reading Between the Lines – Session 1: The Other Side of Silence

Jameel Arts Centre in collaboration with the Ishara Art Foundation presents a three-part workshop comprising of reading circles, a public talk and a film-screening as a companion to the exhibition ‘Proposals for a Memorial to Partition’. Reading Between the Lines revisits the history of South Asia’s Partition through narratives that complicate the idea of political and cartographic borders by attending to stories of internal social partitions around gender, caste and language.

The workshop is conducted in English and each session requires pre-registration separately (limited seats, on first come first served basis).

To register or learn more about the other sessions of Reading Between the Lines and programming in conjunction with the exhibition Proposal for a Memorial to Partition, please visit the links below.

Reading Between the Lines: Session 2

Public Talk: Urvashi Butalia


The first session is a reading circle that delves into The Other Side of Silence by Urvashi Butalia that was first published in 1998. Focusing on narratives of marginalised voices and stories that get written-out of archive, the session unpacks the problematic terrain of history, facts and testimonies in the history of Partition, inviting a discussion on what constitutes research.

This session takes place in Jameel Library and is moderated by Sabih Ahmed.

Conducted in English, pre-registration is mandatory as there are limited seats only. Participants must be over the age of 18.

Participants will be provided an excerpt, Beginnings, from The Other Side of Silence by Urvashi Bhutalia.

These aspects of Partition – how families were divided, how friendships endured across borders, how people coped with the trauma, how they rebuilt their lives, what resources, both physical and mental, they drew upon, how their experience of dislocation and trauma shaped their lives, and indeed the cities and towns and villages they settled in – find little reflection in written history….


About the Moderator

Sabih Ahmed is the Associate Director and Curator at the Ishara Art Foundation in Dubai. His curatorial work and research focus on modern and contemporary art of South Asia through diverse itineraries, languages and inter-disciplinary formations. Prior to Ishara, Ahmed was a Senior Researcher and Projects Manager at Asia Art Archive from 2009 to 2019, a visiting faculty at the Ambedkar University Delhi, and involved in independent curatorial projects that include being a curatorial collegiate member of the 11th Shanghai Biennale curated by Raqs Media Collective. Sabih is on the Advisory Board of the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation in Delhi.