Healing Inter-generational Trauma

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Goldsmiths, University of London, Margaret McMillan Building 111

8 Lewisham Way

London

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

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Assassination, political violence, Indian colonial history, Partition of india and Dr Who

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The A-Z group and Goldsmiths’ Centre for Language, Culture and Learning is delighted to invite you to its event: 'Healing Inter-Generational Trauma: Assassination, political violence, Indian colonial history, Partition of india and Dr Who'.

Author and actor Leena Dhingra will be in conversation with Francis Gilbert, talking about her quest to find a form of healing in dealing with inter-generational trauma in a book she is writing.

The traumas she explores are have all been impacted by colonial rule.

The first trauma occurred in 1909 and was the execution in London of her 25 yearly great uncle -Madan Lal Dhingra, for the assassination of a British official as part of the Indian struggle for Independence. The impact is enormous but is also silenced by Colonial rule, his loyalist . family and other factors. Secretly though Madan Lal was admired by Churchill and other members of the British establishment. In 1976, Madan, his remains were exhumed and returned to India for a hero welcome. The second trauma in 1947 is the Partition of India which leaves Leena’s immediate family displaced in Paris as Lahore; their home city being placed in Pakistan. This trauma is also silenced in that it is too painful/shocking. Leena hears of the story of her mysterious great uncle Madan Lal as a child: in England he is a famous murderer and in India he is hailed as a great patriot, misguided youth, revolutionary terrorist, freedom fighter and unforgettable martyr.

Leena long haunted by this story and starts to research it and encounters another level of silence.- living in England and the invisibility its own colonial/imperial past has made her feel that she too needs to be invisible to be accepted. So, there is the silence of self-censoring. Recently, Leena, now a well-known actor, played a grandmother in the science fiction series, ‘Dr Who’ who had had to flee her home because of Partition; this role brought back many emotional memories and deepened her resolve to finish writing a book about Madan Lal and her upbringing. She has become increasingly determined to tell her story in all its complexity, difficulty and wonder.

Leena is a brilliant storyteller, both when reading from her work and talking, and is able to weave a powerful spell when explaining these difficult, challenging topics. She mixes both compassion and humour when she talks about her family and notorious ancestor. An essential talk for anyone interested in inter-generational trauma, Indian history and 'Dr Who'.

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Goldsmiths, University of London, Margaret McMillan Building 111

8 Lewisham Way

London

SE14 6NW

United Kingdom

View Map

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