“Subaltern” Remembrances: Mapping Affective Approaches to Partition Memory
Theorizing affect in relationship to interdisciplinary developments among geographies of memory and subaltern studies, this essay engages the visual art of feminist artist, Pritika Chowdhry, in her latest exhibition, Remembering the Crooked Line, in order to understand the migratory nature of cultural memories as a result of global flows. Situating Chowdhry’s aesthetic contributions alongside the work of postcolonial, feminist scholar, Gayatri Spivak in “Can the Subaltern Speak?,” this essay offers a framework for understanding memory- production beyond spatially-fixed and geographically- bound points of reference, and theorizes how memories are produced across seemingly disparate spaces and geopolitical histories. Thus, corralling multiple geographic vantage points and subjectivities, Chowdhry’s aesthetic motives pull together dispersed geopolitical contexts and subjects as partition memories are re-membered, re-produced, and re-inscribed as a result of globalization and diasporic affiliation. Consequently, this essay moves towards an understanding of subaltern- memory as a “queer” intervention into dominant constructions of partition societies and their corresponding memories.