The Beloved Witness project is a Mellon-funded digital archive of the video-taped readings, personal documents, letters, and manuscripts of Kashmiri-American poet Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001). New technologies will organize, display and allow interaction with the archive from multiple formats and devices, including materials for mobile devices. Our aim is to show how technology might be used to reveal what is unique in a poet's oeuvre and how teaching and literary scholarship in a digital environment allow a new globalized approach to poetry and culture. Ali's life and work offer an exemplary model for humanists to bear "witness" to a world of lost tribes, of political and ethnic conflicts, of the pain of exile and of the possibility for transformation and reconciliation. The archive is a collaborative effort which will expand through contributions of letters, documents, critical perspectives and creative responses from colleagues, friends and readers of Shahid's works. One of the goals of the archive is to assemble an advisory committee to help identify ways of building a community of Shahid's readers in South Asia and around the world.
The Beloved Witness was featured in an article published by the Kashmir Reader (published 12.29.2012).