The Memory Gazette Is Preserving Indian Heritage To Connect People To Their Roots
It was an unlikely day in mid-August when founders Meghmala Ghosh and Sarasi Ganguly met whilst on a heritage outreach project with Heritage Walks Kolkata and the University of Exeter.
While working on a heritage conservation and documenting procedure project, Meghamala and Sarasi stumbled upon an entire expanse of family anthologies and tangible and intangible objects that have hitherto been gathering dust in attics and trunks.
The Memory Gazette was born out of this shared interest in micro-heritage and documenting the tinier and hidden parts of our history, from tickets that people brought over from Bangladesh during the Partition of Bengal in 1971 to exquisite original paintings by Indian artists.
'During this pandemic, when everyone was forced to retreat into their homes, there was a clear trend of introspection,' reveals Meghmala.
While working on The Memory Gazette, they realised that many people wanted to reconnect with their roots in order to gain a sense of belonging. They wanted something to fall back on, that would connect their past, present and future in a continuum. This probably gave them (especially to people who have had the Partition strip all that away from them) a sense of belonging and identity.
Even though due to the pandemic-mandated constraints, Meghmala and Sarasi have been unable to conduct interviews and work more closely on their Thakurdalan series, they have had guest authors thanking them profusely for archiving their family history in the blog.
'The sheer response and the happiness that we have been able to provide these people with has given us the impetus to continue this work and in time, reach out to the districts and villages all over West Bengal to record oral narratives from the residents,' says Meghmala.
The Memory Gazette has been fortunate enough to gain a huge audience of young people as followers. These patrons have shown interest in creating a space for all things old — stuff that they find in the back of their shelves and in the musty attics.
The founders owe a significant amount of gratitude to Tathagata Neogi and Chelsea McGill who have been the rocks behind them in this journey and have funded their project to have it transform into a proper website and blog on WordPress.
Meghmala Ghosh is a student of English Honours at Presidency University, Kolkata, and is addicted to history and heritage.
Sarasi Ganguly is a student of Benaras Hindu University and someone with a keen interest in micro-heritage and outreach.
Check you their blog here.
Check out their Instagram here.