Kirpan: An Art Exploration

By Harleen Kaur & Rasna Kaur

“Kirpan” is the third set in an art series called “Kakaars.” “Kakaars,” a poetry and photo series uncovering the identity of the Sikh female. Through Harleen’s creative writing and Rasna’s visual storytelling, we hope to show another side of what the Kaur identity means to us. While our own experiences have undoubtedly impacted our understanding of the project, we hope that each and every Kaur can also bring her narrative to the series. Most importantly, this project is not only about our own experiences as Kaurs, but strives to empower all Sikh females to create an understanding for themselves.

Check out “Kes,” the first set in the “Kakaars” series and “Kanga,” the second set! Make sure to check back each week for a new installment of the “Kakaars” series!




Kirpan: Patience

“Lift the pen before the sword”

But how many words will it take
For you to understand,
My body is not meant for your destruction

For the hate-filled stares
That strike like
Punches to the gut

For the shouts of
“Osama’s Daughter”
That fly like bullets
Whizzing through the air
Piercing the skin with precision and power

For the blood on the streets of
Elk Grove
Oak Creek

Interrupted sleep
Filled with screams

Midnight disappearances
Bullet holes in walls
Eyes gone blank
Dastaars unraveled

Prayers go up in smoke
As you kneel in front of the door
Tears dampening the ground
Waiting for him to come home

So tell me
How many more stares must I endure
How many more shouts must I hear
How many more murders must I watch
How many more words must I write
Before I can lift the sword