2015 Collection

“…name the Ukraine, find the Doukhobors, ferret out head taxes,
also, Cambodia, Ireland,
the bombing of Britain,
Guernica, Dresden,
Gaza, Afghanistan,
Khymer, Ararat, all such entries in any such list, incomplete,
Auschwitz (shush, shush)
each name
releases vibrations
Komagata Maru
Internment and confiscation…”

- “C-A-N-A-D-A: in the after-time, always, there is also the before” from Children of Air India: Un/authorized Exhibits and Interjections by Renee Saklikar


The 2015 Komagata Maru Collection allows Simon Fraser University to continue the journey in cataloguing, digitizing, and sharing resources central to the story of the Komagata Maru. Sponsored by the Government of India’s Ministry of Culture, this project is part of a year-long series of events, talks, tours, and exhibitions that are taking place in India and Canada as part of the centennial commemorations of the Komagata Maru by the Government of India.

This Collection provides an opportunity to delve deeply into public and private archives across Canada. This includes: over 50 new photographs of the Komagata Maru and the pioneer South Asian community in British Columbia; digitizing 4 diaries related to the Komagata Maru, including excerpts from the rare autobiography of lawyer J. Edward Bird, and for the first time ever translating 2 Punjabi diaries into English; uploading several rare books that highlight the lives of community pioneers; and showcasing over an hour of videos documenting the story of the Komagata Maru and Mewa Singh, supplemented by the voices of scholars, academics, and artists. Through this endeavour we hope to provide scholars, students, and those interested in the history of the Komagata Maru a wealth of resources to explore this important story to Canadians and South Asians around the world.

Photographs / Diaries / Documents / Videos