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Unedited audio of the Jason Singh filmed interview 
Interview by: Kim May
Unedited audio of the Jason Singh filmed interview Interview by: Kim May
20 Jun 2017
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Interview description by: Harriet Morgan-ShamiTrack 1:Jason introduces himself, explains where he comes from and his career. [01:08] Jason makes a direct link between the Partition and his own identity as an Asian living in Britain today. Also refers to the Partition as a separation of people and land/place with particular reference to his own family who moved from Lahore to Ambala. Acknowledges that it’s meaning is fluid and different for different people. He has also found that learning new information about his family’s experiences raises new questions. [03:03] Jason reflects on the Partition stories handed down to him and acknowledges that it really wasn’t spoken about. He recalls asking his grandmother to share her memories of the Partition but she reacted very negatively and told him never to ask her about it again. [04:54] Jason remembers that his grandmother did tell him stories of the Partition however. He recalls his grandmother telling him that the family had to leave very quickly and that she had to leave all her possessions including all her dowry – she was recently married. [06:11] Jason talks about his family’s close connection to their home in Lahore as reflected by the stories his grandmother told e.g. children playing with and eating mangos in huge vats of cold water. He also remembers his grandmother telling him about her swing in the garden and the fields surrounding the garden and how he could sense that these memories of her youth before the Partition were very precious. [07:45]Track 2:Jason recounts a story his grandmother told him about an incident on the train on which she was travelling from Pakistan to India. He recalls his grandmother’s memory of seeing Sikh men use their turbans to pull women and children up to safety from under a bridge and the paradox of the trauma of the event with the beauty of seeing all these colourful turbans hanging over the side of the bridge. He sees this as a symbol of hope and community, people helping people. [02:12] Jason refers to the film Gandhi, in which his great uncle had a small part, as a trigger for family conversation about the Partition. He remembers watching the film with his family as a child and that being the first time he heard the word Partition in a social context. [03:50] Jason makes a connection between the trauma of the Partition and the fragmentary nature of people’s stories and memories. He again says that his family didn’t discuss it openly because it was so traumatic but that the few stories his Grandmother told has led him to constantly be searching for “truth” around the Partition. [05:10]Track 3:Jason talks about the trauma of the Partition being passed down to younger generations. He concludes that even though the partition was not discussed openly he is still aware of questioning issues around movement, displacement, etc., both in connection to his own life but also with what is occurring internationally at the moment. Jason makes particular reference to the nomadic connection between himself and his great grandfather and wonders if this was something that was passed down. He concludes that the legacy of Partition is a transference of trauma. [02:12]Track 4:General conversation (some inaudible) between interviewer(s) and interview about the interview so far and filming issues. [01:00] Jason gives some brief context to how he came across a briefcase owned by his great grandfather containing objects connected to his family’s life before and during the Partition. He goes on to describe the contents of the briefcase and how some of the objects related to his great grandfather e.g. letters of recommendation as a palm reader and astrologer. Jason talks about his personal feelings of connection to the objects. [03:48] Jason refers to the document that contains the list of the belongings that his family left behind in Lahore. He also mentions having been able to use the address on the document to Google Earth the location and how he feels about seeing that place now. [04:57]Track 5:Undescribed by project, description produced by AIURRRC. A continuation of the conversation about the contents of the brief case begun in track 4, discussion of the family and how this has helped him to make sense of his own life [06:55] general background noise as filming of briefcase is undertaken [07:40] describes his mother arranging the material in the case and introduces several items including a plaque showing how to read a forehead, his great grandfather’s business card, hand written testimonies, pulling out and describing some of the key testimonies [18:44] comments on the rarity of the documentation that is in the case and discusses further examples of the material and using it to google locations connected with his family [20:15] continuing discussion re case contents and how it has survived (some inaudible) while filming of items continues [22:48] introductions as others come into the room, discussion (some inaudible) regarding the contents of the case including his grandfather’s passport and his travel prior to Partition, explaining his work as a palm reader 1932-1942, and a list of the property left in Lahore by the family in 1947 [27:56 End of interview]
Title:
Unedited audio of the Jason Singh filmed interview Interview by: Kim May
Date of work:
20 Jun 2017
Reference number:
GB3228.77/2/3/9
Level of description:
Use restrictions:
Restricted
Language:
English
Record number:
8933667
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