In My Shoes; A documentation project of the Hindu-Sikh-Afghan Community

A Collaboration with UNHCR, India (Website)

"In My Shoes" is an interactive documentary which explores the historic journey of the Hindu-Sikh-Afghan refugees through personal narratives moulded from various interviews and oral records, of refugee journeys as they made their way back to their home country of India. The Hindu-Sikh-Afghans were Indians who migrated to Afghanistan during or leading up to India's partition in 1947, now returning to India in search of refuge from the socio-political turbulence in Afghanistan they are viewed as foreigners.

The history of this community has been entrenched in displacement - first in their bid to escape the lawlessness, bloodshed, terror, communal hatred, and war, during India’s partition and again as it repeats itself in Afghanistan with the rise and fall of regimes, communist government and the TalibanFor many families this has led to a generational identity of being the refugee, these are individuals who have experienced cycles of displacement mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and physically, as they repeatedly find themselves the outsiders in a culture they are desperately trying to make their own.

In the dynamic documentary that is In My Shoes we begin with five stories which take the listener on a personal journey of what it means to look for refuge, what the reality of being seen as the outsider is, and the impact this has on one’s sense of identity and place in the world. Through their pieces of personal narrative we are constructing a world narrative, and what this projects asks is to extend empathy and understanding to one of the greatest threats to humane action our generation has ever seen.

Our stories which are marriage of audio narratives, archival image documentation, reportage and data storytelling, give the opportunity for the listener to take a deep dive into the history of this community in the context of the larger Indian political narrative. There is also an interactive user centric section which allows listeners to explore the journey of migration through data provided by UNHCR, provoking deeper understanding and stronger empathic bonds within the society. We intend to turn this project into a walk through narrative installation mid-2020.