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PDL Collaborates with HRI to Exhibit Common Man's Life
PDL Collaborates with HRI to Exhibit Common Man's Life
 
 
The idea of collaboration with like-minded organization comes automatically when you decide to sincerely work for the community. And what can be more common than art and literature? Panjab Digital Library's cross border collaboration started when PDL was invited at a conference in Bangalore organized by HRI Southasia of Nepal in July last year. People working in different countries but with a common goal of preserving heritage for future generations came together under one roof. The two day conference was a great success, where we all shared our work with each other.

There and then HRI Southasia decided to develop a travelling exhibition for Southasia. The exhibition was finally for the very first time launched at Chandigarh in collaboration with PDL. In all twelve organizations from different countries contributed photographs to the exhibition. Countries of Southasia not only share borders but also histories. Cutting across borders, several different images came together in a single exhibition - Lived Stories, Everyday Lives, the first exhibition organised by Hri and PDL to paint a picture that appealed to all the viewers. It opened to a great response at Punjab Kala Bhawan in Chandigarh. Over 35 images from different private collections in Southasia were showcased, which included a special section of 10 pictures on Panjab. Of the different images, some were captured by common people, others by amateurs, and some by professionals.

Chief Guest Prof.Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, lauded the efforts of Hri and PDL. He praised archivists who facilitate historians who enjoy the limelight. "Archivists do the thankless job of keeping the important resources available to researchers. Now it is time to acknowledge their role in knowledge production." He added, "Hri through co-ordination of archives in Southasia and PDL through digitization of manuscripts and rare booksare doing valuable work. This exhibition showcases the common thread of lives of common people throughout Southasia." Prof Dhillon underlined the importance of sharing the experience of common people as they themselves preserved in their personal archives. He pointed out that history should also be understood beyond iconic events and personalities as common people need to be acknowledged for shaping our culture and lives. He congratulated Hri and PDL for celebrating common people through the exhibition.
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Both, Hri and PDL are committed to highlighting the importance of preserving, digitising and archiving. But as a visitor pointed out ? one also needs to equally applaud the efforts of the individual who retained these images. After the first day's press coverage, several visitors poured in with their families. Every image invoked a story in each visitor, which they shared with the organisers. The images from Partition of 1947 touched a chord with many Panjabis, who recalled experiences of their own and their families. The photograph of VidyaPradhan from Nepal was specially mentioned. Pradhan was the only woman to graduate in her batch, but did not want to be reminded of her struggle to be educated and refused to hang the photo in her house. In an irony, at the exhibition, this very same photograph was being viewed by hundreds, and inspiring young women.

The collaborative experience has been wonderful and we do hope to do more exhibitions together and also dream of collaborating with other organizations in different countries.

Comments from some of the visitors:

The exhibition provides a glimpse to our past. These images celebrate ordinary events of our lives that are lost in the fast-paced world.
- SanjamPreet Singh, Hindustan Times.

A brilliant initiative, well-rounded. Wish it had more pictures and installations. All the very best.
- Amandeep Sandhu, Author.

It is indeed a great collection of pristine photographs, which not only represent an old era but also show humanity as one. All the best for such a brilliant effort.
- Y T Negi (Dept. Commandant)

The exhibition is very unique in terms of the theme and collection. Photographs collected from different sources and exhibited are really beautiful and take the visitor to a B/W era. It arouses nostalgic feelings in me. I'll cherish it. Commendable effort.
- Prof.Atul Sharma

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