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The Other Side

The Other Side

Art Exhibition by Meena Matai at Dougherty Arts Center

1110 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX

Exhibition: March 18 - May 20, 2023

Reception: March 22, 7- 9pm

Guest Lecture with 1947 Partition Archive + Artist's Talk: April 7, 6-8pm

Sponsorships/donations to help bring the Archive to the DAC: Venmo Meena-Matai

I, along with the 1947 Partition Archive and Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) would like to invite you to my art exhibition, “The Other Side.” 

My exhibition, "The Other Side," is a powerful exploration of the personal stories and emotions of my family and the millions affected by the India-Pakistan partition of 1947. Through my paintings, I'm trying to bring to life the experiences of the refugees who found themselves on the wrong side of the divide and the lasting impact this event has had on the lives of over ten million Indians and Pakistanis. As we mark 75 years since the partition, this exhibition serves as a poignant reminder of memories that are at risk of being forgotten and an important call to foster positive connections and build a supportive community.

"When my grandparents were forced to leave their family home due to the India-Pakistan partition in 1947, they thought it was just temporary unrest and they'd return home in a few days. To risk not losing their valuables, they locked everything in an iron box, and buried the box in the basement. My grandfather trusted the neighbor and told him, “Take my keys," asking him to keep the house safe. "I’ll return,” he said. They parted with a hug. My grandparents or my parents never got to go back to the other side to see their homes, their land or any of their belongings. This piece depicts all of the riches, valuables, left behind on both sides of the border. I wonder how many such boxes with unclaimed keys are out there?"


Come to the Guest Lecture - April 7, 6-8pm

On April 7, 2023, you are cordially invited to a guest lecture featuring Dr. Guneeta Singh Bhalla, the founder of The 1947 Partition Archive, and Artist’s talk by Meena Matai. The lecture will shine light on the peoples’ plight during the Partition and launch the Archive’s first book featuring personal stories and perspectives that explore the ways in which the history of the subcontinent continues to shape our lives today, both locally and globally.

We hope you will attend! 

Please help us with kind donations/ sponsorships

Please help cover the costs of this ambitious undertaking and/or donate to the Archive: 

  • Sponsorships to help bring the Archive to the Guest Lecture can be made via Venmo to Meena-Matai.  
  • Tax-deductible donations to the Archive can be made at

In my search for more information, I was lucky to get in touch with The 1947 Partition Archive - a non-profit organization committed to preserving and institutionalizing the people's history of the Partition. The Archive collects and preserves oral histories, providing a comprehensive understanding of not only the Partition but also the pre-Partition culture and post-Partition migrations and transformations. Since its founding in 2008, the Archive has amassed over 10,000 memories from 500+ cities across 15 countries. In 2023, the Archive will be publishing its first book featuring 400 curated stories, which will be brought to Austin for the public to purchase.