Sunday, 6 August 2017

what we think about the british empire - 70 years after the partition of india

Seventy years ago, the 'jewel in the Empire' was partitioned, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands:
Partition of India - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The media in the UK, India and Pakistan are covering the event:
Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition | World news | The Guardian
From horror to hope: A Mumbai event examines Partition’s legacy | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
A Country Divided - How it affected me - BBC News

The two countries have very clear identities today:
National Portal of India
The Official Web Gateway to Pakistan

What do you know about the British Empire?
BBC - KS3 Bitesize History - The British Empire through time : Revision, Page 2
What's left of the British Empire (and how to visit it) - Telegraph

Most Brits think it was a good thing:
YouGov | The British Empire is 'something to be proud of'
British people are proud of colonialism and the British Empire, poll finds | The Independent

As does the historian Niall Ferguson:

Civilization Part 1 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson - YouTube
Niall Ferguson: The 6 killer apps of prosperity | TED Talk |

Although the future might lie with Asia:
Jay Doubleyou: inglorious empire - what the british did to india
Jay Doubleyou: is the west better than the rest?

And not with 'the West':
Jay Doubleyou: every town and city in britain profited from the slave trade
Jay Doubleyou: british commonwealth ... british empire

Meanwhile, the former director of the British Museum has warned:
“In Britain we use our history in order to comfort us: to make us feel stronger, to remind ourselves that we were always, deep down, good people,”
Jay Doubleyou: in britain we use our history in order to comfort us: this sort of handling of history is dangerous as well as regrettable.

He's now got a job in Germany:
Neil MacGregor: ‘Britain forgets its past. Germany confronts it’ | Culture | The Guardian

MacGregor argued that Germany is one of the few countries in Europe whose national monuments, museums and commemorations refuse to allow any heroic vision to intrude at all. The refusal of the heroic runs through contemporary Germany, he argued. But in Britain, and even more so in the United States, the heroic is ever present, especially in relation to the commemoration of war. It is what unifies the way the British remember the first war as tragic-heroic and the second as idealist-heroic. Today even our soldiers in illegal wars are described as heroes.

The former head of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, speaking at the opening of an exhibition about German history this month, praised the “rigorous and courageous” German confrontation of difficult truths. "What a contrast", he said, "to the British way of viewing our past, distinctly 'sunny' chapters that reassure us that we were 'always deep down good people'."
A Great Brexit Britain could learn a lot from Berlin | Varsity

British museum directors would agree with him:
Poll: do British museums focus too much on the sunny side of history? | Museums Association

What are the stories from your own countries' histories?
Open History Project – Countries have borders. Stories don't!

From America:
Jay Doubleyou: story corps - listening to america

From the Balkans:
Jay Doubleyou: a journey through the balkans

From Germany:
Jay Doubleyou: telling stories about the germans on the bbc

From the world:
Jay Doubleyou: a history of the world in 100 objects

And from Nigeria:
Things Fall Apart - Wikipedia
One of Africa's best kept secrets - its history - BBC News

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED Talk |
The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - YouTube

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