#100Heirlooms is my family history project. Coming from a culture where lower-middle class family histories are not very well documented, I had always faced a massive hurdle while trying to trace my roots. Having grown up in a boarding school, and then being in England for my MA and PhD, I did not find time to explore my personal family history in detail. Now that I am back in Kolkata, and will be here for at least 1 year, I have decided to take this opportunity to trace my roots through at least 100 heirlooms.
Both my parents come from low-income households and their parents grew up and worked through the global depression of the 1930s, World War 2 and the early, volatile and uncertain days of Indian independence. My father was a professional photographer and stenographer worked for a very low salary for the social service wing of a religious organization, and my mother is a housewife. So my heirloom objects will tell that story. Most artifacts will be ordinary objects of daily use. Something that we do not get to see often in collections and museums.
The heirlooms will be initially posted on my twitter handle @ArchaeoNomad, and instagram handle NomadicArch using #100heirlooms hashtag. A detailed description of the heirloom and its historical context will be found in a dedicated #100Heirlooms blog: https://100heirlooms.wordpress.com/
Apart from tracing and recording my roots through objects, the project is also conceived as an example to encourage the younger generation worldwide, but especially in India to record their family histories, trace their roots, and share their stories through objects for the sake of our shared history.
Anyone wishing to participate can use #100heirlooms hashtag on twitter (or other social media), and can also feel free to post on the #100Heirlooms Blog.