This artwork was painted by Canadian born artist and architect, Keerat Kaur.
Sisterhood and Journey are outtakes from a graphic histories project, created in collaboration with SACHA (South Asian Canadian Heritage Association). This project is meant to highlight significant but lesser-known aspects of Canadian Sikh heritage. Harnam Kaur was one of the first Punjabi Sikh women to immigrate to BC, Canada in the early 1900s. Her legacy is one that paved the way for the diaspora as a whole, but particularly for women.
Journey, 2018: Harnam Kaur relishes her first home in the Indus tropics, whilst reflecting on the knowns and unknowns of her life-to-be in the Pacific Northwest. She is placed in the centre of the ocean, as a multi-dimensional and multi-temporal figure.
Harnam Kaur’s journey to Canada was tumultuous. She was to leave Peshawar (present-day Pakistan), where life had been familiar and vibrant. Canadian immigration officials were concerned that if Asian women were allowed in the country, immigrant communities would settle and flourish rather than to continue their role as temporary labourers. Along her journey, Harnam Kaur had been detained for months and was even deported to Hong Kong before finally being allowed onto Vancouver's shores.
Sisterhood, 2018: The legacy umbrella brings together women of all walks of life, being nourished from the past, ready to sow seeds for the future. Harnam Kaur is present with both some ambiguity and recognizable traits, as she bears a feature-less face and wears her signature salwar kameez and blazer. Community strength is one of the most valuable aspects to societal growth. It allows for a means to self-reflect and ameliorate, while being able to find endless inspiration and grit.