Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL CSSA: Of Nido Cans and Taka Notes

20 May 2021, 3:00 pm–4:30 pm

Objects Across Borders seminar series posters

Part of the Objects Across Borders series, reflecting on the stories embedded in visual and material artefacts, we are pleased to present Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil and Saif Osmani

This event is free.

Event Information

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Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World

Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil
Object: Nido can

The butter-yellow Nido can of powdered milk is one of the ubiquitous signs of the Arabian Gulf in the households of the south Indian state of Kerala. Its content, the powdered milk, signifies the giant leaps of technology while the end product of the milk powder – milk – also transcodes itself into local significations of material prosperity and respectability. A metal can with a plastic lid, the Nido can far outlive its original use and continues in the household as a container for various other materials, and as a signifier of the foreign. This talk will look at the instance of a singular Nido can as it tells us of the migrant lives of the late 1970s in the Arabian Gulf. 

Saif Osmani
Object: 500 taka note from East Pakistan

In marking a 50 year milestone for Bangladesh, Saif presents an account of receiving a 500 taka note from East Pakistan (1947 –1971) that contains both Urdu and Bengali script. Saif speaks about gaps in remembering, on forgetting and the complexities faced by the Bangladeshi diaspora in inner London and their shifting relationship with their home country as told through the objects that hold personal memories. He asks: what is remembered and what falls from collective memory? 50 years of Bangladesh through 50 objects forms part of the wider Migrant Memory and the Postcolonial Imagination research project (MMPI) funded by the Leverhulme Trust at Loughborough University (www.memoriesofpartition.co.uk). Using arts-based ethnographic methods, MMPI explores memories of the Partition of India and wider processes of decolonisation, and examines their role in contemporary British Asian identities and communities.

Part of the Objects Across Borders series, bringing together scholars and creative practitioners working in and on South Asia to reflect on the stories embedded in visual and material artefacts. This series is organised by Vindhya Buthpitiya (UCL) and Mallika Leuzinger (Princeton) and hosted by the UCL Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World, and The Fung Global Fellows Program and Program in South Asian Studies at Princeton University.

About the Speakers

Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil

Assistant Professor at Manipal Centre for Humanities, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka, India

His current research looks at the cultural dimensions.

More about Mohamed Shafeeq Karinkurayil

Saif Osmani

Visual artist and spatial designer

Saif is of Sylheti- Bengali background who works as a Researcher on the MMPI project. He has a socially-engaged arts practice and was recently a visiting fellow/artist-inresidence at Loughborough University’s new campus in East London.