To help commemorate the Partition of British India, 70 years ago this year, The National Archives has teamed up with Bhuchar Boulevard and its touring theatre production of Sudha Bhuchar’s play ‘Child of the Divide‘.
At the heart of this commemoration is a series of creative projects that build a bridge between our extraordinary collection of Partition-related documents and our role as a national institution committed to engaging new and diverse audiences across the country.
The Child of the Divide opens on Friday 29 September at London’s Polka Theatre before going on a tour to 11 venues nationally. Accompanying the tour there will be special post-show events where cast members will read from documents held by The National Archives, and audiences will receive more detailed information about our collections and examples of what they may find here.
Sudha Bhuchar’s play – based on Bhisham Sahni’s short story – movingly portrays the story of Partition as seen through a child’s eyes. Expertly woven into the script are numerous references to experiences reflected in records held at The National Archives. The violence and chaos of Partition are made more poignant and moving through being expressed by characters who are children.
Characters in the play refer to the looting, ethnic cleansing, retribution and the extraordinary levels of displacement people experienced. These were real events described in official government records and corroborated by witnesses who experienced them first-hand. Grounded in historical sources, this play is a creative and accessible route into a troubling history, offering space for reflection and, in some cases, healing. Continue reading »