The Partition of India took place more than seven decades ago and the emotional burden of the same is still felt by the third generation of the families that experienced it. Qualitative ethnographic research methods were used to collect first-hand experiences of the people who migrated during 1947 and to gain insights into the textile artefacts they carried. It was learnt that they carried two kinds of textile pieces—the Khes and Phulkari. It was found that both were dowry items, influenced by the concept of Charbagh in their motifs and layouts. In this project, Sainchi Phulkari became the medium to express the stories and their interpretations as it was a kind of Phulkari done to narrate events of daily life in rural Punjab. Two levels of collaborations were set up to deliver the final Sainchi Phulkari panels: Initially, participants from the design workshops worked together on artworks to narrate stories of Partition. Thereafter, these artworks were hand-embroidered by Phulkari artisans from Patiala, Punjab. The collaborative nature of the project made it possible to connect people who share a historical background even across borders.
Keywords: Khes-weaving, material memory, Partition 1947, Phulkari-embroidery, textiles of Punjab
Student Name: Rashi Rakesh Sharma
Guide: Ms. Sucharita Beniwal, Co-Guide: Ms. Tanishka Kachru