THE UNREMEMBERED: Indian Soldiers from the Italian Campaign of World War II
Clip from 3 min 20 sec video installation.
Installation from the 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
All photos David H. Wells
The UNREMEMBERED is about the 2.5 million Indian soldiers who fought for the British in World War II and are largely forgotten in history because of their politically complicated role. Having fought and died during the second World War, ending in 1945, their sacrifices were shuffled aside during the Independence struggle and the horrors of the Partition.
I have created a video with historical film footage projected onto the gravestones at twilight in the cemeteries in Italy where the Indian’s are buried and/or memorialized. As the 75th anniversary of World War II approaches, I would like to bring attention to this history for us to tease out more of it’s complexities and it’s relationship to Partition and the larger political issues in the region.
For this project I focused on the Italian campaign, where 30% of the Victoria Crosses were awarded by the British to the Indian soldiers. One of the critical battles was the Battle of Monte Cassino whose 75th anniversary is in 2019.
Actual movie duration 3 min 20 sec.