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Unedited audio of the Warda Khokhar filmed interview 
Interview by: Kim May
Unedited audio of the Warda Khokhar filmed interview Interview by: Kim May
15 Jun 2017
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Interview description by: Harriet Morgan-ShamiTrack 1:Warda introduces herself and explains that although her family comes originally from Pakistan her parents moved to Qatar where she and her siblings were born. She talks about her academic career and her particular interest in the gender violence perpetrated during the Partition. [01:36] Warda reflects on the impact growing up away from Pakistan has had on her understanding of the Partition. She explores her identity as something that has been given to her rather than experienced i.e. she was told she was Pakistani rather than growing up there. This has caused her to do her own research into what it means to be Pakistani which led her to learn about the Partition. Concludes that this has given her the freedom to create her own stories of Partition. [04:02]Track 2:Warda explains that not many stories of the Partition were handed down to her due to her family’s focus on surviving in a new country - reminiscing was a luxury they could not afford. Ward recalls having to ask her parents about their memories as she herself found out more about the Partition. She found out that her paternal great uncle travelled over from India to Lahore where the rest of his family eventually settled. Warda tells of her mother’s family who remained in Bahawalpur during the Partition and goes on to give some historical context to the region. Talks about her family having to conform to an “artificial” identity, that is one that was forced upon them by the decisions of others. [03:10] Warda talks about her motivation for specialising in Partition Studies at university, referring to her friendships with other Pakistani students who told her more about their knowledge of the period. She talks about her particular interest in the gender politics of the Partition and talks in detail about the violence committed on women’s bodies as being symbolic of a need to maintain community identity by soiling the “other”. She also talks about the imagery used by the media at the time - India depicted as a woman with her arm, Pakistan, being ripped off. Warda makes the connection between the violence and her family’s decision to leave and start again somewhere new and safe. [07:19]Track 3:Warda talks about her feeling that as a British Asian she didn’t have a claim to the Partition. She explains that only in a post-9/11 world where her identity was being scrutinised, did she begin to research what it means to be Pakistani and took some ownership over her nation’s history. She now believes that her British Asian feelings about Partition are just as valid and important to the study of the event as those of people from the region. [01:09] Warda refers to the assumptions made by older people in her community, that as a young person she will not be interested in her history. She explains that she, along with other Millennials, has had to counter stereotypes imposed on her by using historical knowledge e.g. the fact that Pakistan was on the “hippy trail” during the 60’s and 70’s. [02:17] Warda mentions her experience of having to convince Pakistani people of the validity of her interest and knowledge. She explains that while she does not live there, the history and goings-on of the land has impacted her life. She feels she is a mediator between Pakistani and British understanding. She wants, as an academic, to empower personal histories as a means of talking back to power. [03:59 End of the interview]
Title:
Unedited audio of the Warda Khokhar filmed interview Interview by: Kim May
Date of work:
15 Jun 2017
Reference number:
GB3228.77/2/3/17
Level of description:
Use restrictions:
Restricted
Language:
English
Record number:
8933683
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