Shashank Peshawaria is an artist from Amritsar, India, working with lens-based media, installation and print. He graduated from the Royal College of Art (London) in 2017. His work has been part of exhibitions at BFI Southbank (London), Conflictorium (Ahmedabad), UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (London), South Kilburn Studios (London) and Doomed Gallery (London). It has also been published by Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and The Guardian. With the support of Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) through a multi-disciplinary research project called Creative Interruptions, he participated in an artist residency at Preet Nagar, near the India-Pakistan border in Indian Punjab, in 2018. Currently, he is exploring queer migration in South Asia through a project led by Churnjeet Mahn (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) and funded by the British Academy (UK). His work is informed by history, loss, borders and identity.

shashankpeshawaria@gmail.com
Fractured Lines is a series of photographs that document the physical dismantlement of railways situated on the Indian side of the India-Pakistan border region, caused by rivalries between the two nations in the aftermath of Partition. Viewing the remains of disused railways as a symbol of post-Partition violence and separation, the photographs capture decommissioned stations and defunct railway tracks across Indian Punjab and bordering areas that before 1947 served as links with places now lying in Pakistan. This treatment of a readily overlooked subject focusses attention on the abrupt interruption of these routes, achieved through deliberate obstruction of some tracks and in other cases through local makeshift mechanisms and dereliction: a poignant reminder of lost connections and a shared past.

The work lies at the intersection of geography, heritage, critical infrastructure, colonialism and memory, revealing the contingencies of history. Rather than the familiar association of Partition with the forced migration of refugees by rail, this series probes the railways as a site of the disruption that put an end to movement.