Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Open Wound- Stories of Partition

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew‘s photo-based project “Open Wound- Stories of Partition,” builds on the way that old images reignite memories and, like a time machine, take us back to a fading history, to an unresolved conflict that has roots in the present communal tensions. The ephemeral animations in “Open Wound” are built from old family photographs combined with recent photographs of two or more generations with text narrating some of the painful stories of both Indian and Pakistani families traumatized by the 1947 Partition. Though Matthew will focus on “Open Wound – Stories of Partition,” she will also take the audience through her creative journey and the thread of history and memory that weaves her work together.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew‘s photo-based artwork explores re-looking at cultural histories, identity, and memory. Matthew’s work takes advantage of the viewer’s uncertainty between the reality of photography and it’s manipulation through digital tools to get the viewer to reexamine and construct parallel identities and histories. Matthew’s recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and sepiaEYE, nyc. Grants and fellowships that have supported her work include a Fulbright Fellowship, the American Institute of Indian Studies Creative Arts fellowship and Rhode Island State Council of the Arts fellowships.

In addition, Matthew is Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island and Director of the URI Center for the Humanities. She is also the URI 2015-17 Silvia Chandley Professor for Peace Studies and Non-Violence. View more of her work at