Narratives play a central role in how nations imagine themselves and the ‘other.’ A central part of narrative making involves comparison, comparisons with other places and other people. These comparisons can, often, enable one nation to appear or perceive itself better relative to the other. Drawing on personal experiences and the oral histories she has documented in South Asia and Canada, Anam Zakaria will discuss the limits of popular and mainstream narratives and highlight what gets lost in simplistic comparisons – be it between India and Pakistan or the US and Canada.
Anam Zakaria is the author of 1971: A People's History from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India (Penguin Random House 2019), Between the Great Divide: A Journey into Pakistan-administered Kashmir (HarperCollins Publishers 2018) and The Footprints of Partition: Narratives of Four Generations of Pakistanis and Indians (HarperCollins Publishers 2015) which won the 2017 KLF-German Peace Prize. Anam is also the co-founder of Qissa - the home of storytelling and writes frequently on issues of violence, memory, narrative making and the construction of the 'other'. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, CBC, The Hill Times and Al Jazeera among other media outlets. She is currently based in Toronto.
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