Halar Soomro
Film | Publication
Type ··········   Thesis, research project
Themes·········   Generational Trauma,                              Collective Remebrance     
Timeline ·······  July 2023 - July 2024
Collaborators ··  Maastricht Institute of Arts

                                      Asian Art Workers ColectiveFunded by ·····   The Supporting Act Foundation

About the Work

"Ghar," will be a 20-minute video work followed by an art publication, carefully crafted to unveil the intimate struggles of my Nani (Grandmother), a Bombay (now Mumbai) soul in a post-1947 Karachi, sculpting her identity from the fragments of a divided homeland. By employing collective remembrance, an ethnographic research tool to investigate collective memory, this work is to intricately weave unscripted conversations, archival treasures, and emotive reenactments. It also seeks to transcend familial narratives, foregrounding neo-colonial discourse to offer an earnest reflection on identity, resilience, and the nuanced interplay of the consequences of colonial decisions.

Immersed in the socio-cultural fabric of Karachi post-1947, "Ghar" charts the arduous journey of my Nani in search of a new home. It includes unscripted conversations, augmented by the archival elements of old photographs, VHS tapes, dinners, and period music; the project seeks to reconstruct the narrative surrounding the loss of homes post the Partition of India. Revisiting places of significant importance to my “Nani” including Korangi, (The Neighbourhood where she first arrived as a refugee,  and Port-side areas of Karachi along with the bridge of Native jetty stress a great deal of influence upon the premise of this video work. Furthermore, it winds together the personal struggles of my Nani with oral testimonies addressing historic and contemporary British violence in Pakistan and India.

This project is currently in its post-production phase with a subsequent premiere and exhibition following later in May 2024.