Walking Memorials: Endeavours of Reading Silence

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Oral historian, Aanchal Malhotra writes:

“For decades, we have endlessly concerned ourselves with the geopolitical consequences of this historical event, and not nearly enough with how it has registered — through remembering or forgetting — in collective memory, private consciousness and generational bequeathment.”


Join artists Shazia Salam and Sree Jyothish  for a guided evening walk inviting us to investigate the resonances of South Asia’s Partition on the diaspora. The artists frame the experience as follows: 

As we recognise the partition not as a singular event, but as an ongoing process, do we carry its remnants within us? If so, how do we begin to read the various modes of partitioning that exist today?

By identifying silence as an ongoing legacy of the Partition, artists Shazia Salam and Sree similarly interrogate how such silence continues to be present in this diaspora. Together they wonder what stops conversations from taking place and ponder:

Is remembering a privilege in our context? And if so, where do we begin? How do we begin?

Walking Memorials is a research-driven public programme that departs from the exhibition Proposals for a Memorial to Partition, curated by Murtaza Vali. Bringing together a multitude of voices in their community, the convening artists envision this evening walk to be one of many conversations, identifying the need, ability, and safety of dialogue.

Upon receiving instructions and tools to navigate the vicinity of Dubai’s Zabeel Park, participants will spend the evening responding to prompts devised in collaboration with researcher Lubnah Ansari, oral historian and poet Rasha Al Duwaisan, artist and writer Jyotsna Siddharth, and researcher Sarah Risheq.  Building on each collaborator’s practice, each prompt will include questions and act as tools for reflection and conversation among participants.

Happening softly and slowly,  the walk presents possibilities to wander, trail, gather or disappear as participants move in and out of the prompts. Following the walk, and with the materials, images, words, and thoughts collected through the experience, participants convene back at the starting point, to share their experience around a meal hosted by the artists.


  • 5:00pm – 5.30pm | Participants arrive at the meeting point and are introduced to the walk
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm | Walk with prompts and creative exercises
  • 8:00pm – 9:00pm | Convening, conversation and shared meal


Shazia Salam. Lives and works in Dubai and Bangalore.

Shazia Salam investigates transmission lines involved in cultural production. She looks for answers in corporate agreements, shop signages and apparatuses within networked lives. Her work finds form through kinetic sculptures and installations. Often an invitation to interact – to touch, hold or destroy. 

She holds a PGDip from the University of Arts London (2018) and a BArch from Manipal University (2015). Salam’s group exhibitions include Only Time Will Tell, The Kave (Dubai, 2021); Covid Conversations, Tashkeel (Dubai, 2020); Serendipity Arts Festival (Goa, 2019); 5in5 presents (London, 2018). She has been a recipient of the Dharti Arts Residency (Delhi, 2019) and is currently part of Tashkeel’s Critical Practice Programme.

Sree Jyothish. Lives and works in Abu Dhabi.

Sree is an artist-researcher from Dubai who experiments with sound, sculpture and installations that activate as performance. Through his work, he tries to make sense of what it is to be a brown cis-man that calls Dubai home, while holding an Indian passport.

Sree has been part of educational and public programs with the Humboldt Forum (Berlin), Bhasha Center (Bangalore), MELA Foundation (NYC), Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Te Tuhi (New Zealand).  In the UAE, he has previously been commissioned by, and exhibited at the Jameel Arts Centre (“Youth Takeover 2020”), Manarat Al Saadiyat (“Zemanna”), and Alserkal Avenue (“After the Beep”). He is part of the 2022-23 cohort of the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship (SEAF) where his artistic practice shifts towards inspecting the many ways his people already claim belonging and stage protest in an environment that simply does not allow traditional expressions of the same. A mode of mutated, soft, riot.



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