Punjab is a region straddling the border between Punjab (Pakistan) and Punjab (India).
The area now known as the Greater Punjab comprises what were once vast territories of eastern Pakistan and northern western India. The bigger section of the Punjab is now 80% within Pakistan and the rest with the Republic of India.
World history is divided into two distinct eras – Before Christ (BC) and After Death of Christ (AD). For millions of people living in the Indian sub continent, it is divided into two similar eras – Before Partition and Post Partition. 15th August 1947 marked the divisive moment when Pakistan was separated from India.
The entire geography of a sub-continent was soaked in blood. Photographer Margaret Bourke-White who documented the partition era on both sides wrote in her book Halfway to freedom, “The exodus of the children of Israel was dwarfed by the great migration of Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus which took place upon the partition of India.’
Zar, zoru, and zameen (wealth, woman, and land), all three so beloved to man, were brutally violated. Almost ten million crossed a sketchy line drawn by a crumbling British empire. Only half of them reached an alien land they were forced to call home. Hindus to the east, Muslims to the west.
In September 2009, The Alliance Françoise and the Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus in Lahore have collaborated in a project that deals with the differences and similarities between India and Pakistan.
Nadia Riaz, director of Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus in Lahore says, ‘The countries India and Pakistan have a common history and cultural heritage as have Germany and France and the search for common factors is in both cases interesting and important. We would like to enable a meeting point for photographers from all four countries where they will come together and capture these similarities and differences on camera. The event will be rounded up with a photo-exhibition at the Lahore Arts College.’