Musical retelling of Partition gives message of peace

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New Delhi : An experiential music performance recounting the Partition echoed the poetry of Saadat Hassan Manto, Ali Sardar Jafri, Daman, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Amrita Pritam, and personal accounts of ordinary people who lived through it, at the Habitat World, India Habitat Centre (IHC) here.

Rendered by vocalist Sonam Kalra, the performance "Partition: Stories of Separation" utilised music, theatre, film and design, to make the 1947 Partition come alive.

The 100-minute performance is an exploration of what the Partition meant, through music.

Kalra, who has performed in over 30 countries at music festivals including the Sydney Opera House, paints it as a retelling necessary to preserve the oral history surrounding what she calls a "terrible ordeal".

"Many of the stories we have heard from our grandparents will be lost with the passing of the older generation and they need to be preserved, honoured and to serve as lessons for generations to come," she said in a statement.

"I hope that in revisiting these stories through music, we are able to empathise, ponder and realize the way forward," she added.

She had been researching about the life and works of writer-poets from both India and Pakistan, resulting in this composition.

Kalra has performed at the Women in the World Summit, India By the Bay festival, events by feminist movement One Billion Rising, The Jaipur Literature Festival, Rajasthan International Folk Festival and the Faiz International Festival in Pakistan, among others.

"Partition: Stories of Separation" is her attempt to find "peace and co-existence based on a shared grief, a shared loss, a shared history and a shared love".