The Lost Voices of the Valley
Objects - Our New Story-Tellers!
While memory fades away, the object remains unaltered as a constant reminder of the past and the lost home. Memory hides in the woven patterns of shawls and folds of baghs , among old records and souvenirs, inside the boxes of inherited athoor and deyjhor , between yellowing pages of old books, in the smell of familiar food or between the stitches of embroidered pheran .
“Memory has settled into objects in such a way that they have become the only physical evidences of belonging to a certain place at a certain time. The object expands to transcend its own physicality, creating a tangible link to an intangible place or state of being.” (Aanchal Malhotra) It manifests into one’s everyday life, seeps into the years and remains quiet, accumulating the past and loss like layers of dust, and manifests itself in the most unlikely scenarios, decades and generations later.
Kashmir Untold is a digital repository of material culture, tracing family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles, jewellery, books, food and memoirs. The objective of the digital museum is to promote the preservation of material memory infused within objects and gather knowledge of it as a significant resource in understanding the culture of a community and its past. The objects in the Archive are from different communities of Jammu and Kashmir, highlighting the stories of the land. By exploring the notion of the collected or preserved object from a certain moment in time, we will attempt to gather insight into the moment of time itself.
The object becomes a gateway into the stories of the past - the stories that had been carefully secured and sealed deep within memory. The objects gradually unfold generational narratives about the tradition, culture, customs, conventions, habits, language, society, geography and history. Decades later, the stories unfold layer by layer, revealing the past - uncovering the stories of a lost time.