Its been a really difficult journey. I have read so much about India and the punjab, the partition and what people of all backgrounds went through. I have also been reading about female feticide and infanticide – the killing of girls and fetuses and reflecting on my journey of being ‘female’ of South Asian decent. I recall stories of how when a girl was born in my small community where I was born, other women/mothers would say ‘Oh I am sorry’, ‘better luck next-time’. Also a big party called a ‘Lori’ would be put on if new mothers had a boy. The images, articles and videos I have watched both sicken and upset me. My MA has shifted quite dramatically and has become more personal.
There are times where I have not been able to read anymore and have sought my Sikh female friends for support, which they have generously given. For a while I just stopped reading altogether, so I could gather my thoughts and reflect upon my next steps. I am doing this MA part-time and I have till March to outline the direction I want to go. I realised there are so many directions:
- Promoting Sikh women in history/herstory – but there is a growing expression of this.
- Looking at the positive example in Sikh scripture around the empowerment of women – this has been covered by a few scholars.
- Looking at identity – male, female, those who don’t sit under either – what is Sikh Identity? Is or has it been quite fluid? – This has been and always will be covered by many academics and non-academics
- What does Sikh identity mean to me? – This is an ongoing journey for me and not something I feel I need to share.
- The issues around feticide and infanticide – this is an issue that particularly affects me, but I have no first hand experience of this, apart from I know how it makes me feel to hear/read the stories. I think this will somehow work its way into my artwork.
So what do I hope to look at? I have narrowed my research and will post up shortly the direction it has taken.