Bootwala, M. and Desai, D. (2009). Memoryscapes: Witnessing the crisis of internal refugees through visual practice. Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. V.27, 94-106.
This visual, practice-based research project, a collaboration between Dipti Desai, the Director of Art + Education, and Munira Bootwala, a Graduate student in the program, centers around these questions: ‘What does it means to be a refugee in one’s own country and how do people renegotiate their identities as citizens of a country when their rights are stripped? What roles do material and symbolic culture (artifacts and photographs that invoke memories of life before displacements) play in recreating a sense of home and recovering a loss of identity?’ This research, conducted in Gujarat in 2007, combines oral histories and photographs to create a narrative of memory that gives voice to the Muslims who became internal refugees in 2002, during the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in India.