The 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru’s arrival in Vancouver is being commemorated across Metro Vancouver and Canada.
Herewith, a list of exhibits and events where you can learn more about the Komagata Maru, histories of migration and racism in Canada, and artistic interpretations of the South Asian community’s past and present.
Museum of Vancouver: In 1914 Vancouver was a burgeoning, multicultural port city and a hub for migrants searching for new opportunities. The flashpoint was the arrival of the Komagata Maru – a ship carrying 376 British Indian passengers who were denied entry into Canada. Unmoored examines how Vancouver’s histories of racial discrimination, intercultural dialogue and political revolution come together to ensure the Komagata Maru is still mapped today onto the streets of the city. Includes artifacts from the Komagata Maru ship. On until July 31 | museumofvancouver.ca
Vancouver Maritime Museum: The Komagata Maru: Challenging Injustice exhibition invites visitors to step into the shoes of the 376 immigrants aboard the ship and presents a narrative from their point of view. Feel the hope, discrimination and determination they felt as they fought for their right to be treated as equal citizens under British law. On until June 8 | vancouvermaritimemuseum.com
Surrey Art Gallery: Marking the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru episode, this exhibition brings together for the first time, a cross-section of visual art related to this history, and presents it alongside art that addresses more recent histories of mass migration from Asia to Canada’s West Coast. Ten artists contribute works that explore fact and fiction, history’s relationship to memory, and mass media’s affects on personal experience, through narratives of transpacific mass migration. On until June 15 | surrey.ca
Surrey Museum: The Echoes of the Komagata Maru exhibition features interviews with direct descendants of Komagata Maru passengers living in Surrey, as well as first hand accounts of the ship’s arrival, and thoughtful comments from Surrey youth on the importance of the Komagata Maru today, all told through video clips, images and sound. On until July 12 | surrey.ca
Khalsa Diwan Society: From Tragedy to Triumph is an exhibit at the Komagata Maru Museum, located at the Khalsa Diwan Society in Vancouver. Formed in 1906, the Khalsa Diwan Society built the first Sikh Temple in North America, which is where much of the onshore mobilization for the Komagata Maru passengers took place. The Komagata Maru Museum is an opportunity to meet the early pioneers and collaboratively shape the future. On until July 27 | kdsross.com
Performing the Voyage: An evening of music, art, poetry, and conversation with artists inspired by the Komagata Maru episode and the South Asian Canadian experience. Renowned Indian visual artist Orijit Sen will discuss his collaborative project that works with local artists to re-imagine the histories of the Komagata Maru. Featured authors Renee Saklikar, Phinder Dulai, and Priscila Uppal will engage with narratives of memory and remembrance, while musician Neelamjit Dhillon will weave a series of performances from his new jazz and Indian classical inspired Komagata Maru Project throughout the evening. Co-presented by Indian Summer Arts Society. July 6, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Museum of Vancouver | komagatamaru100.com
Interested in learning more about the Komagata Maru and early South Asian immigrants to Canada? Visit our History section for stories about history, racism, fashion and film.