Ensaaf, a human rights organization focusing on state crimes that were perpetrated in Punjab and India, has announced the winning entries into their “Decade of Disappearances” Art Contest. The evocative artwork above, by artist Priya Handa, was selected as the winning piece:
This painting represents the disappearances and the injustice Sikhs have had to suffer. In this painting nothing is still or concrete. Everything is either moving or blurred, just like history and time. I use an infusion of my Bay Area inspirations along with what I have learned about 1984 and have observed in history. The words “Ensaaf,” written both in Gurmukhi and English are made to stand out, because this is our primary concern, bringing justice not just to Sikhs but to all.
Priya Handa also discusses how she learns about Sikh history through her art:
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Priya Handa has always been inspired by the flow of graffiti art. From experimenting on walls to a canvas Priya’s Bay Area inspiration has never left her. She tries to create a balance between what is real and what is not. As Priya became older she started to learn more about Sikhism and the history of Punjab. To better understand her roots, she started painting about them. Behind each painting are pages of research Priya had to conduct in order to understand her subject. Priya’s artwork is her way of educating herself.
You can see this artwork and those that were selected in second and third place on Ensaaf’s Facebook page.