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Keynote: Syma Tariq

July 15 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0

Keynote: Syma Tariq

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Listening after colonial rule and erasure: partition and the oral archive

The boom in oral testimony relating to experiences of the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent has followed decades of silence on the topic as well as the destruction/removal/ongoing concealment of official records. This burgeoning oral archival landscape brings up an opportunity to question  how history is made through the collection and preservation of individual narratives in the postcolonised present. Departing from the historical erasure instituted from 1947 onwards, this lecture delves into what it means to listen to such voices after colonial rule and division, and some of the challenges that arise from engaging with the archives of partition and the creation of India and Pakistan. I will speak about what I tentatively term as partition’s sonic condition, which through the archives propagates certain norms of legibility and silences through practices of memory-making and preservation.


Syma Tariq is a PhD student, writer and radio producer. Her doctoral research – Partition as a sonic condition: listening through the postcolonised archive – is being undertaken at the Centre for Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP), University of the Arts London. It focuses on the discursive and temporal separations embedded in histories of the 1947 partition of ‘British India’ through sonic-archival forms and processes. The impact of colonial division on historical destruction and on listening is a key concern for her practice. Syma holds a Masters in History of Political Thought from the University of Sussex and a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Contemporary History from Queen Mary University of London. She is a recipient of an AHRC TECHNE award.

Photograph of Syma Tariq


July 15
10:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
Event Category: