Oral History - Vilayati Tarti/Foreign Land Project
Vilayati Tarti - Foreign Land Project
History must be written of, by and for the survivors - Anonymous
I feel very strongly that I am under the influence of things or questions which were left incomplete and unanswered by my parents and grandparents and more distant ancestors. - CG Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
The Vilayati Tarti/Foreign Land Project Chronicles the story of women, mostly Punjabi women, who, in the decades following the Partition of India, left for England in search of work and found themselves in Southall, a town in the outer suburbs of West London, to where thousands of people from the Punjab migrated in the decades following the partition of India. Now five decades later, Southall has come to be affectionately called “Little Punjab” or "Little India."
The documentary film is part of a larger oral history project that seeks to explore issues of migration, displacement and the attendant experiences of establishing new lives in foreign lands. The project, inspired by my maternal grandmother who lived and died in Southall, is based on video and audio interviews with the women in the diasporic South Asian community in, Southall and environs.
The project currently exists as an 11-minute documentary short, and 18 stand-alone video interviews intended to serve as an electronic archive and resource. The entire project can be viewed here.