Punjab Research Group

Indian Memory Project

Posted in Art, Digital resources, Photography by Pippa on February 17, 2014

The Indian Memory Project is a wonderful resource which features the Visual & Oral history of the Indian Subcontinent via family archives. Please follow the links to read the full text and see the pictures. These are just a selection of material relating to Punjab.

An avid sportswoman who managed several teams during the Asian Games 1982 – http://www.indianmemoryproject.com/95/

Parveen Kaur (Arora) was born in the small hill town of Mussoorie, India in 1952. The ‘Arora’ family originally belonged to Rawalpindi, (now Pakistan), and moved to Mussourie during the Indo-Pak partition.

She served as an ad-hoc at Lady Irwin College and also had a brief stint at Miranda House. She finally got a permanent job at S.G.T.B. Khalsa College, University of Delhi in 1981. A year later, she became the manager of several teams at the Asian Games in 1982 which she believed was a great honour at her age. She also got married in 1984, a turbulent year marked with Anti-Sikh riots. The story of  how they survived the riots is another long one indeed.

She passed away, on February 4, 2011 and is fondly remembered by all the faculty, friends and family as one of the most zealous, interesting women and sports personalities of her time. The college has now instituted two yearly awards for ‘Outstanding Sports Person’ in her name.

The cockerel-fighter from Punjab who became one of Africa’s greatest cameramen – http://www.indianmemoryproject.com/109/

Looking back over the 80 years, I wonder how, as a simple village boy from Punjab who never even finished school, did I end up in Africa, dodging bullets to make a living from shooting hundreds of kilometres of film in some of the world’s most dangerous regions.

I come from the proud martial family of the Sikhs. I do not know the exact date of my birth, although my passport says 25 October 1931, Baburpur, Punjab. At the time, births were not registered, and parents habitually exaggerated the ages of their children in order to get them into school early and so have their own hands free during the day. Baburpur, formerly called Retla (the place of sand), was renamed after Mughal Emperor Babur who had reportedly camped near our village for a few weeks.

The only non-white students of the batch – http://www.indianmemoryproject.com/118/

They lost their childhood to the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots

Posted in Articles, Photography, sikhs by Pippa on May 1, 2013

They lost their childhood to the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots.


In a moving photo documentary, the children of the horrific October 31-November 1-2, 1984 riots narrate personal tales bound together by the common themes of violence, loss and the death of their childhood, reports Sanchari Bhattacharya.

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Researching Wedding Photography in Birmingham: request for contacts

Posted in Diaspora, Networking, Photography, Research, sikhs by santhyb on December 17, 2012
I’m a doctoral candidate in visual anthropology at University of Oxford, and a contributor to the PRG blog. This is to seek your assistance in setting up my fieldwork. My research looks at wedding photography as a mode of representation amongst the Sikh diaspora in the UK. If you have contacts in Birmingham, especially amongst the Sikh community in Birmingham so I can meet someone even if it is for an informal chat, I’d love to hear from you. Since it is an anthropology project I plan to conduct fieldwork involving interviews and participant observation with wedding photographers covering Sikh weddings. It would be wonderful if you know anyone who does Asian wedding photography and would be interested in collaborating/ being interviewed for the project. I’d also love to talk to engaged and newly-wed couples about their wedding ceremonies, wedding albums, how they chose their photographer etc. I would be grateful for any ideas as to how to make contacts so I can attend a few Sikh weddings and get a sense of how the ceremonies are organised and documented via photography and videography.
I’m happy to provide you more details if you can help. My email id is: santhy.balachandran@wolfson.ox.ac.uk
I look forward to hearing from you.
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Moving Journeys An Exhibition of Photographs of the Colonial Punjab

Posted in Events, Photography by Pippa on June 2, 2009
Bakshi Mulray (Governor of Gilgit) & Mehal Singh (Commanding Radur Regiment) in the Vale of Kashmir

Bakshi Mulray (Governor of Gilgit) & Mehal Singh (Commanding Radur Regiment) in the Vale of Kashmir

Venue:  Old Social Science Wing, LUMS Time: 6 pm, June 4, 2009
RSVP:   kalra@lums.edu.pk

Photographs of the Punjab taken by London’s Royal Geographical Society (RGS) members during the late 19th and early 20th centuries form the core of the exhibition. The RGS images provide a glimpse of the Punjab province through the ages, capturing the changes brought on by different empires and the impact of internal and external migration. To help interpret the pictures, the exhibition also makes use of travelogues collected and written by RGS members during the colonial period.
The images record a wide range of events in the Punjab?s past and reflect the way these were linked to British history. For instance, during both World Wars, over 50% of the Indian Army was recruited from this region. Workshops held with Punjabi veterans of military service for Britain were consulted and their testimonies have been used to interpret this aspect of Punjabi history. India and Pakistan?s stormy relationship is traced in images relating to 1947?s Partition when over 500,000 people died in the violent upheavals and the region saw 15 million people migrate.
The RGS has allowed the exhibition to be produced and shown across Pakistan and the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to be able to host and launch the exhibition in Pakistan.

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Holi pictures

Posted in Photography by Pippa on April 1, 2009
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International Review of Photographs and Text

Posted in News/Information, Photography by Pippa on December 17, 2008

Whenever people talk about ‘Indian photography’ it obviously leads to a debate and discussion about how appropriate it is to term it as ‘Indian photography’ rather than ‘photography in India’. The question is: to what extent has photography in India been Indianized?
[…] The contributing photographers of this issue have addressed the complex nature of the time and space evolving around the formation of an identity through works that have crucially explored the issues of marginalization and dislocation. [Suvendu Chatterjee]

See further: http://www.privatephotoreview.com/en/index.php 

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Photographs from East Punjab, 1978

Posted in Photography by Pippa on August 6, 2008
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