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Guest Lecture | SSEALS

Special Guest Lecture: Civilian Internment in India: Omissions and Exceptions, Incarceration camps of the Pacific War

Monday 22 April 2024
Research Colloquium: SSEALS (2024)
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Attention! Room has been changed to Lipsius 1.48

Special Guest Lecture

Did you know that there were internment camps in India during World War II? Have you wondered who was incarcerated there? Why do we know so little about their experiences? This presentation explores civilian internment in India through a small cast of characters unwittingly drawn into and implicated in the imperial conflict. They include a Thai artist and a Buddhist novice, incarcerated with ‘Japanese internees’ at the Purana Qila, New Delhi and later at Deoli; a German bikkhu (Buddhist monk) sent to Dehradun camp from Ceylon and an Italian bikkhu who passed through numerous camps. Addressing themes of mobility, displacement and incarceration of individuals with natal or adopted Buddhist identity it uncovers neglected Asian realities and postcolonial sentiments pertaining to internment in ‘British’ India. It expands on a previous study of incarceration camps around the Pacific Basin, published with Lynne Horiuchi in The Architecture of Confinement: incarceration camps of the Pacific War (2022).

About the speaker: Anoma Pieris is a Professor of Architecture at the Melbourne School of Design. She is an architectural historian and geographer interested in issues of postcolonial citizenship and sovereignty. Her most recent publications include the anthology Architecture on the Borderline: Boundary Politics and Built Space (2019) and The Architecture of Confinement: Incarceration Camps of the Pacific War (2022), co-authored with Lynne Horiuchi. Anoma was guest curator with Martino Stierli, Sean Anderson and Evangelos Kotsioris of the 2022 MoMA exhibition, The Project of Independence: Architectures of Decolonization in South Asia, 1947-1985.


Attention! Room has been changed to Lipsius 1.48


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For any questions, please email Minke Hijmans at SSEALS@hum.leidenuniv.nl

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