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Moderator, “Sources of Departure, Sites of No-Return,” Panel Discussion hosted by Emami Chisel, Kolkata, India, Feb. 17, 2010

A panel discussion with Dr. Paula Banerjee (Honorary Senior Researcher, Calcutta Research Group) and Bina Sarkar Ellias (Editor, Gallerie Magazine).

Location: Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata

Time: 5.30-6.15pm

It’s long been held that “Palestine” is not a state but a concept borne out of war, conflict and the subsequent demarcation of identities and imposition of boundaries. By the same token, “Israel” too must be a concept, and that too a paradoxical one from Palestine. The partition of what was once a single entity now bleeds its wounds on our psychological and physical maps until the present day. Ideologically opposed, these warring societies look across their boundaries at one another as Palestine’s struggle ensues for self-determination as a nation-state. While the rest of us are thinking about globalization, Palestine still struggles for nationhood. Many miles away, but within the same Asian continent, Bengal too saw a rupture around the same time as the seeds of the Arab-Israel conflict were sown. A people who spoke the same language, fished in the same rivers, and told the same ancestral stories, had their land ripped apart by a similar rupturing ideology: religion. This panel seeks to explore the notion of identity, the phenomena of forced migration and the location of the self, people and societies vis-à-vis self-determination in a ‘global’ framework and hierarchy.