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Arnolfini - est 1961

Child of Empire is an animated virtual reality (VR) docu-drama experience which immerses viewers in one of the largest forced migrations in human history: the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan.

The film takes audiences through a deeply personal perspective of this epic historical event. Two men from the Partition generation — Ishar Das Arora (voiced by Adil Hussain), an Indian Hindu who migrated from Pakistan to India, and Iqbal-ud-din Ahmed (voiced by Salman Shahid), a Pakistani Muslim who made the opposite journey — share childhood memories of their experiences while playing a board game. As the two men unpack their memories, audiences embody the experience of a seven-year-old child at key points in the migration.

Project Dastaan – Child of Empire Trailer

@project.dastaan film directed by Erfan Sadaati @erfanzugram and Sparsh Ahuja @photosparsh, and written by @omi_zola, this docu-drama offers a powerful counter-narrative that lends a fresh perspective on the effects of forced migration on everyday individuals. Child of Empire is directly inspired by real life accounts of three Partition witnesses from both sides of the border.

Pre-booked slots for the VR experience are now all reserved. However, a film version of the piece will be on display in the Arnolfini Dark Studio, accessible to all.

A Project Dastaan and Anzu Films production.

Part of a special weekend at Arnolfini, marking the close of Bharti Kher’s The Body Is a Place, and foregrounding work by a younger generation of British South Asian artists.

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