“It is impossible to imagine the world without its women,” says Harleen Singh, a social historian and the man behind The Lost Heer Project — a project that retraces Punjab’s history and documents the Partition of India through the eyes of women.

“My aim is to show that women in Punjab have always been smart, independent, and fierce, and it is only the patriarchal writing of history that has subdued their voices,” says Harleen.

‘The Lost Heer Project’, an Instagram collective, attempts to showcase these stories.

1. Treasures of Hindi cinema Balraj Sahni and his wife Damyanti Sahni worked at the BBC at the onset of World War II alongside author George Orwell.

After their return to India at the end of the War, the couple moved to (then) Bombay, where they worked on small amateur acting projects at Prithvi Theatres, to the horror of their families at Rawalpindi.

2. Kinnaird College Established by the American Presbyterian Mission in 1864, Kinnaird Girls High School was known by several names throughout the years, commemorating the important figures who were making visits to Lahore during this time.

3. Dressing style in Punjab A traditional Amritsari woman is depicted in an 1880 painting by Horace Van Ruith.

She is adorned with “the Kundan pendant and the mirror ring”, “the tight base of the suthan (trousers) under her heavily embellished ghagra (petticoat). “In the olden times,” he writes “traveling Punjabi women (specifically the Hindus and Sikhs) wore a ghagra/lehnga over their shalwar.”

4. Amrita Shergill The poster is for the art exhibition in Lahore to showcase Amrita Shergill’s work. Known as one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century, she was one of the earliest modernist painters and her works revolved majorly around the daily life of Indian women.

5. A family photo In the frame are a Punjabi bride’s hands decked in jewellery.

Singh writes, “Browsing through some old family photos, I came across the old fashioned “kaleerey”, which are long metal accessories fitted with gold “peepul leaves”, half-cut coconuts, cowrie shells and makhaney (foxnuts), all tied to a bride’s “chora” (ivory and red bangles).”