Partition in the Modern World:
Transdiasporic Art Perspectives
Art Exhibition commemorates partitions around the world
July 8 - August 13, 2023
Evanston Art Center, Chicago, Illinois
September 24 - December 10, 2023
Online Partition Museum, a virtual museum
Partition in the Modern World: Transdiasporic Art Perspectives exhibition is the outcome of a year-long curatorial fellowship at the Evanston Art Center (EAC), curated by 2022/2023 Curatorial Fellow, Pritika Chowdhry.
A partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory, often dividing a homeland and fracturing communities along religious, ethnic, or other political lines. The 20th century saw over 25 countries partitioned worldwide, causing bloodshed, ethnic violence, and forced migrations of large segments of populations across the globe.
This exhibition engages ten different geopolitical partitions - the partitions of Palestine (1947, 1967, ongoing), Bosnia (1992, 1995), Cyprus (1974), Ireland (1921), Germany (1945, 1949), Mexico (1845, 1848, 1854), Native North America (1830, 1851, 1887), India/ Pakistan (1947), Pakistan/Bangladesh (1971), and Kashmir (1947, 1962, 1963, ongoing).
While there is emerging scholarship in comparative studies of the 20th century partitions of Ireland, India, and Palestine, this art exhibition is unique in juxtaposing ten partitions from different geopolitical and historical contexts in one conceptual space. Hopefully, the thought-provoking art works presented in this exhibition will further the comparative discourse of partitions.
The artists in this exhibition poetically probe the geopolitical phenomenon of partitioning a country and its aftermath through the dual lenses of cultural memories and multiple diasporic locations, laying bare the reverberations of partitions individually, locally, and globally. Examining, questioning, and protesting these partitions in the registers of human rights, political factors, and gendered fallout, the works engage the use of partition as a political tool and its relevance now, in post-9/11 America and globally.
This exhibition also makes transdiasporic connections between different partitions. The Transdiaspora Art Project, founded by Pritika Chowdhry, has created a curatorial framework that brings artists together from disparate diasporic locations, around common overarching themes.
After the physical exhibition at EAC comes to an end, the exhibition will transition to a virtual exhibition in the Online Partition Museum. Chowdhry is the founder of the Transdiaspora Art Project and the Online Partition Museum. After the physical exhibition at the Evanston Art Center, this exhibition will become an online exhibition in the Online Partition Museum, and will become part of the archive of the Transdiaspora Art Project.
Evanston Art Center
This exhibition has been made possible by the curatorial fellowship program at the Evanston Art Center. Evanston Art Center, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, is dedicated to fostering the appreciation and expression of the arts among diverse audiences.
Jafra Abu Zoulouf
Kara Cobb Johnson
Raisa S Kabir
Shameera Din Wiest