Region: MFA Annual
My studio practice is research-based, primarily drawn from the archive. I consult the documents of pioneering communities in the South Asian diaspora. The history of these communities exists in overlooked materials: books, oral history manuscripts, VHS tapes, records, and cassettes tucked away in cardboard boxes, yellow photographs in peeling albums stuffed in cupboards and shelves, in basements, on online databases, and in the research of scholars who have dedicated their lives to recording a history in the margins. A recent shift in my work has led to truths about how marginalized diasporic communities—in particular the Kashmiri and Punjabi Sikh communities—can perpetrate further marginalization within their own people in relation to caste, nationality, economic status, sexuality, or gender, and more widely against people of other races and religions. Notions of the diaspora and the homogeneity of community can be torn apart by external issues affecting Kashmiri and Punjabi Sikhs, but can also be broken by these internal prejudices.