2015 is the 101st anniversary of the Komagata Maru, an incident that reflected exclusionary policies of the Canadian government at the time on the subject of Asian Pacific migration. On May 23, 1914 a ship carrying passengers that were largely immigrants from the Punjab, British India, arrived in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, and were subsequently denied entry to the country.
The following events will take place from May 23rd to May 30th and are co-sponsored by the Komagata Maru Heritage Foundation (KMHF) and the Pacific Canada Heritage Centre – Museum of Migration Society (PCHC-MoM), and is a part of explorAsian 2015 (www.explorasian.org)
– On May 23
, SFU is updating their website, www.komagatamarujourney.ca
with 50 new photographs, publishing a lost diary of J Edward Bird (the lawyer for the Komagata Maru passengers), newly digitized Ghadar Party documents (in Punjabi and English) and videos that deeply detail the story of the Komagata Maru and Mewa Singh.
– Also on May 23 from 1-3pm there is an afternoon reception at the Komagata Maru Memorial in Harbour Green Park (1199 Cordova Street, Vancouver). A variety of guest speakers will talk about the importance of the anniversary followed by a moment of silence.
– On May 24 from 1-4pm there is a seminar entitled Komagata Maru: Kal, Kala + Kahani at the Komagata Maru Museum at Ross Street Gurdwara (8000 Ross Street Vancouver). This seminar looks at the importance of the Komagata Maru legacy through art, storytelling and its importance to our present and future. Some of the speakers include: Dr. Renisa Mawani, Satwinder Bains, Nadeem Kulwant Parmar, Harbhajan Gill, Renee Saklikar, Raghuvendra Rao, Sadhu Binning and Milan Singh.
– May 26 there will be an exhibition entitled The Worlds Within: Archival Fantasies opening at SFU Woodwards. It features artwork by renowned graphic designer and painter Orijit Sen who has re-imagined archival photographs of the Komagata Maru by overlaying images, stories and landscapes of Punjab.
– On May 27 from 5:30-7pm Mr. Nadeem Kulwant Parmar and Naveen Girn will be leading a Walking Tour through the streets of Downtown Vancouver and highlighting the sites and spaces of the city that still echo the story of the Komagata Maru. We will start the tour at the Komagata Maru Memorial (1199 Cordova Street, Vancouver).