Sandy Spring Museum Presents Sikh Project from The Sikh Coalition

By Editorial Team on February 13, 2018
Courtesy of The Sikh Coalition.
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Reception: Saturday, February 17 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
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The groundbreaking photography exhibition featuring turbaned Sikh men and women from across the country will be on display at the Sandy Spring Museum from February 14 – March 24, 2018. The project will provide a window into the resilience of the Sikh American community.

Sikhs wear articles of faith (including a turban and unshorn hair) to represent equality, justice and tolerance for all. However, Sikhs have been the victims of a disproportionate amount of discrimination, harassment and violence in recent years. The Sikh Project will feature 38 portraits of Sikh American men and women that explore the style and significance of the Sikh articles of faith and the diversity of the Sikh American community. The Sikh turban will be on full display at the Sikh Project, which also examines some of our greatest misguided fears as Americans.

The photo subjects have compelling stories and many have broken major barriers. These include several local subjects, including the first Sikh news reporter in the DC metro area; a Maryland-based music artist and American Idol contestant; and also Sikhs across the country with amazing stories including the first active duty Sikh soldier to maintain his articles of faith while actively serving in the U.S. Army.

Courtesy of The Sikh Coalition.

Simratpal Singh
U.S. Army Captain, Washington, DC

Captain Simratpal Singh was born in Punjab, India in 1987 and immigrated to the United States as a child. Growing up, he admired his great grandfather’s British Indian military career and believed in the shared principles of his Sikh faith and military service – discipline, self-sacrifice and service to others.

After enrolling at West Point in 2006, he made attempts to obtain a religious accommodation, but was forced to conform by removing his turban and cutting his hair. After numerous promotions and a Bronze Star, he remained tormented by this decision and vowed to one day return to his articles of faith. In a 2016 landmark legal decision, Captain Singh became the first active duty Sikh soldier to maintain his articles of faith while actively serving in the U.S. Army.

Courtesy of The Sikh Coalition.

Harpreet Kaur
Director, Producer and Filmmaker, Ellicott City, MD

Harpreet Kaur works as a producer for a PBS member station and is the founder of Sach Productions. She was the first Sikh news reporter in the Washington D.C. area. For over a decade, Harpreet has directed award-winning documentaries shedding light on social issues. Through advocacy and storytelling, Harpreet has impacted the lives of the individuals in her films and has inspired her audiences to become proactive.

Her debut feature documentary, The Widow Colony, was the first Sikh film to be shown at the Canadian and U.K. Parliament, followed by a screening at the United States Congress. Her documentary A Little Revolution takes viewers into the homes of children of farmers in Punjab, India, who have committed suicide. Harpreet strives to educate, entertain and enlighten viewers with her ability to share compelling stories.

Hours:

  • Wednesday through Saturday: 10am to 5pm

Admission is free for the general public on Wednesdays, excluding groups. On other days, admission is $3 – $5 per person.

The Sandy Spring Museum is located at 17901 Bentley Road Sandy Spring, MD. For more information, email exhibits@sandyspringmuseum.org or call 301-774-0022.