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Delhi 1984: A photo essay

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

These images were taken in front of Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in New Delhi. When I stepped off the bus, my surroundings instantly reminded me of the year 1984, the genocide and brutal killings of innocent Sikhs. The buildings and alleys appeared unchanged, as if time had stood completely still. When I turned, I noticed the Indian police officers standing about. I couldn't help but think, “This is exactly what they were doing during 1984. Nothing.” In capturing these images, I tried to imagine the helplessness that so many must have experienced during those dark days in Delhi.


Harjas Kaur is a fourth year student at the University of the Fraser Valley, working towards a Bachelor's Degree in English and Anthropology. She is deeply passionate about social justice and anti-racism work. As a Sikh, she believes it's important to engage in social justice conversations which further our knowledge and uphold Sikh values.

People often say live in the present, but Harjas recognizes the breathtaking power in capturing the emotion of a moment and preserving her surroundings. She took up photography as a hobby a few years ago and her creative skills have only been growing since. The evolution of her creative practice stems from a recent trip to Punjab where she was able to explore, create and capture the beauty of her homeland. Her photography centers Punjab, Punjabi culture and Sikhi and she hopes these themes will always remain central to her work.

Her work can be found on Instagram at @h.k.b.lens.


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