My thesis on documenting Indian American history reflects almost two years of work. I have always been a lover of history and the institutions and media that exist to preserve it. Being Indian American, the people and their culture have intrigued me for personal reasons, as well as academic motives. The rapid growth of this population and its assimilation into American society are topics worth exploring. Indian Americans have come a long way since they started arriving to America in the 19th century. They are now a sizable and successful community in this country and it is time they start honoring the journey that has gotten them this far.
Working with the Smithsonian Institution’s Indian American Heritage Project brought on its share of challenges and opportunities. At times, it was difficult to reconcile the design vision I had with the realities of working with a client who came with a set of requirements and limitations. However, these challenges were more than offset by knowledge that I was partnering with such a reputable institution on an effort that will live well beyond the pages of a paper.
I am now done with thesis (and my degree at Pratt!), but I have plans to continue working with the IAHP over the next year, and perhaps even longer, as they plan the opening of the Beyond Bollywood exhibition, raise awareness among Indian Americans and develop new initiatives.