A newly installed plaque at the port of Kolkata stands as a memorial to the indentured Indian diaspora. It conveys a collective story relevant to present desires, not past hauntings. Yet it is the tension of absences and silences that makes the port city an interesting site of individual memories and collective diasporic history. This essay attempts to show the possibilities of an imaginative construction of indentured return experiences intersecting with intergenerational memories as well as the cultivation of facts on the ground, inspired by Wilson Harris's argument that Caribbean scholarship needs to bridge the gap between historicity, space, and imagination.
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Nalini Mohabir; Port of Departure, Port of Return: Mapping Indentured Returns to Calcutta. Small Axe 1 July 2014; 18 (2 (44)): 108–122. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-2739884
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