In the past time alone, Sikhs have prepared headlines across the world.
There was the first U.S. army man who fought to be allowed to wear a turban under his helmet. Then there are still Waris Ahluwalia, a New Yorker who was stopped at an airport because he refused to unravel his fuzz for authorities.
And now, Sikhs are being celebrated in a beautiful show propelling stateside in September.
Despite so much better speech around Sikhs, there remain many misconceptions and judgments unfairly residence upon the religious demographic. Certainly, since 9/11, “theres been” countless hate crimesagainst Sikh, Arab, Muslim and South Asian Americans.
According to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, “theres been” over 800 hate crimes investigated by the FBI since the 2001 terrorism onrushes. But a separate report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that as of 2005, hate crimes against these people were 15 times higher than what the FBI had reported.
To empower Sikhs everywhere, the London-based photographers Amit and Naroop added together and photographed 40 Sikhs from around the U.S. The duo had previously been documented 36 Sikh British in 2013, but were asked by The Sikh Coalition, based out of New York City, to replicate development projects with Sikh Americans.
“It became a collection of portraits that epitomized the dominance of identity, ” the duo was indicated in an email to Mashable . “The strength of appearing unique and having pride in your look no matter your race, gender, age or sexuality. Here[ is] a group of people who wear turbans on their fronts and don’t cut their whisker. They do this with pride. It is not a fashion supplementary, “its crucial” to who they are.”
For Sikhs, the photographers justified, this symbolism is multifaceted, encompassing study, persuasivenes, harmony, equality.
The photographers immediately detected just how different Americans and British Sikhs were.
“In the U.K ., there is no confusion between Sikhs and other religions, ” they said. “In the U.S ., we were appalled is how little beings knew about Sikhs. They were misunderstand and, to a certain grade, feared.
“The Sikhs we have photographed have all faced abuse some verbal, some physical and yet their resolve to be keep their identity[ anonymous ], ” they said. “Yes, we patently want to break the ignorant stereotypes constituted in the U.S that all Sikhs look like gunmen. Even writing those messages prepares us furious. In the working day and age, with all the technology, information and resources available to us, for someone to still induce that belief is astonishing. But yet it happens. Its shocking.”
Ultimately the duo hopes to portray Sikhs to Americans unfamiliar with them in a new light.
“Sikhs are genu, attending people who believe in equality and dishing others before themselves, ” they said. “If people can begin to stop approximate people by figure, but instead look at their actions and persona, then the U.S. can start to understand the significance Sikhs bring to their country.”
The exhibition will be shown at The Sikh Coalition from September 6 – 25.