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This chapter explores the 1947 Partition of British India through a critique of its recent oral-archival formations and its construction as an historical ‘event’. This critique includes reflections on my audio research series Partitioned Listening (2020–2022), which invoke the complexity and reciprocity of speech, listening, silence, poetry and testimony in Partition's (aural) history. It argues for a deeper consideration into how testimonial and archival forms of knowledge production have ordered our narratives of the Partition, sensing it as a sonic condition in the present rather than merely an historical event in the past. This is a political as well as artistic exercise: an opportunity to approach a kind of “queer universalism” (Menon) which listens away from the norms of time, identity and difference embedded in the enclosure of archives in the partitioned present.

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