Children of the World: A Photography Project Inspired by Rana Singh Sodhi

Guest blogged by Ajaib Kaur

I saw this video recently on a photography project inspired by Rana Singh Sodhi and theloss of his brother after 9/11 to a bias-motivated crime, or hate crime. The project aimsto capture photographs of one child from every country in the world, residing right herein New York.

I was inspired to do this project in 2003, when I was driving across the United Statesand I stopped at a gas station in Mesa, Arizona and I met this gentleman named Rana. A couple days after 9/11 Ranas brother was planting a tree in front of a family ownedgas station, and someone drove by, saw a Sikh who was like Rana wearing a turbanand a beard and shot him.

He further reflects on the characteristics of the children he captures:

What I was capturing was not the ethnicity of the child or the fact that they were a NewYorker, but a very specific emotion about that person, so that it represents a spectrumof emotion that we all know.

The piece is an interesting take on combating bias in one of the most ethnicallydiverse cities in the world. Since the U.S. Census has found that the next generation ofAmericans will be considerably more diverse than the previous generations with moreimmigrant communities making their way out to ethnic enclaves in the suburbs [link],and since the ethnic makeup is in constant flux across spaces and neighborhoods [link], projects onhow mixed communities can relate to each other in these spaces are needed.

The project is also an example of how Sikhs can engage in new media and platformswhere Sikh representation is in dialogue with other ethnic and religious communities,rather than in isolation.

Thank you Danny Goldfield, for your contribution.


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