The Singh Project - The American Edition

Many of you might remember my last post about them, two years ago. Well, they have come a long way since then. The aim of The Singh Project {previously, The Singh Project} is to capture the essence of modern Sikhism and to pay tribute to the beauty and variety of British Sikh men.

The Singh Project, which exhibited in the UK in 2014, featured thirty-six photographs of British Sikh men. Amit and Naroop captured the diversity of how the beard and the turban were worn by modern Sikh men, and how they have been adapted to fit the style of the individual.

In 2015, the duo partnered with The Sikh Coalition in New York and after a year of discussion and planning, they began to photograph American Sikhs. But this time, Amit & Naroop featured Sikh women too. As a result, the titled changed from the Singh project, to The Sikh Project.

The Sikh project will be exhibiting in New York at 530 Broadway, Soho from 17th – 25th September.

I was really happy to hear from them last week regarding the progress and the upcoming events related to the project. In addition funds are currently being raised on Kickstarter to see if a "Sikh Project" coffee table book can be produced. You can read more information about it here on Kickstarter.

Here's what Amit & Naroop said:

Yes, there were. When we photographed British Sikhs, the subjects didn’t know how big the project would become. They were nervous, even sceptical. Why would anyone want to see photographs of Sikh men?
When photographing the American Sikhs, they knew the impact the project could have. They realised the importance of spreading awareness of the identity of Sikhs.
In America, Sikhs are not always viewed in the same positive light as they are in the UK. American Sikhs face abuse, misunderstanding and bigotry based on their articles of faith. The American public in large still don’t fully understand what and who a Sikh is.
For this reason, the American subjects were proud to be involved, as they felt they were helping to make a change.

We knew there was a demand as we received numerous emails for Americans telling us the American public needed to see the exhibition. From the Kickstarter campaign we ran to fund the exhibition, a significant proportion were American.
Then the Sikh Coalition got in touch, encouraging us to do an American project and telling us why the project could have so much impact in the States.
We knew that art can inspire change, and we felt by doing an American version of the project, we could impact a larger audience.

We worked with The Sikh Coalition to find American Sikhs who not only had an individual style of wearing their turbans, but also had an inspiring or important story.
One thing we realised when hold the UK Singh exhibitions, was that people wanted to know more about the subjects. Yes, the photograph was important, but people wanted a little more.
So in the American Sikh Project, each subject was hand selected for what they had achieved or for they have experienced.
We also held an open casting call on The Singh Project Facebook page. Potential subjects were asked to send in photographs of themselves plus the reasons why they felt they should be considered.

The UK Singh project and the U.S Sikh projects have impacted thousands of people with the exhibition and online images, but we really want to create a lasting change.
Once the exhibitions stop, we still want people to feel inspired by the photographs, and nothing lives on like a book.
We feel that The Sikh Project isn’t just for Sikhs. It’s for everyone.
At its core, the project is about identity. Pride. Not conforming. Individuality. 
In this day and age, no should feel that they need to fit in. Being like everyone else is boring. Staying true to who you are takes courage.
The book, that will contain seventy two portraits, combining the UK and U.S projects, will also feature back stories of each subject. Our aim is that it will inspire others to have pride in who they are, Sikh or not. If the subjects, some of who have faced bullying and horrific persecution, can stay true to their identity, then there is no reason why anybody else can’t.

You can read more about this amazing project at Facebook
stay updated at Twitter or see the pictorial updates at Instagram.


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