Jaskirt Dhaliwal-Boora

a place called home

a place called home is a new project by socially engaged artist Jaskirt Dhaliwal-Boora which brings together the stories of four young women and their families, and the effects of generational trauma.

Commissioned by West Midlands Police in 2023, Jaskirt had the opportunity to work and collaborate with Kiera, Tiegan, Sienna and Codie to make a body of work to try and effect real change and impact within the police.

'They say ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ looking at the images in this book it is hard not to be moved and touched by the stories being shown and told. Through Jaskirt’s work with the girls involved in this project we hoped to form a greater understanding of how their life experiences might contribute to vulnerability, and to harness the power of photography to generate real empathy and understanding amongst officers that might inform police practice, and how we interact with young people we encounter.' Cat Stock (WM Police Learning and Delivery Manager)

Portrait of Tiegan and Alfie, winner of the British Journal of Photography's Portrait of Britain Award 2023 and Lens Culture Art Photography Award Jurors Pick 2024

How the work came together

Throughout a series of workshops and interviews by Jaskirt in June and July 2023, the young women and their families opened up their lives and explored the affects of generational trauma and gender-based violence they have experienced. The workshops at their school included zine making, photo walks in nature, writing workshops, a family workshop looking through archival imagery and basic photography skills.

In the same period as the workshops Jaskirt visited each girl and their family to take photographs and interview them about their life and stories they wanted to include in the book and exhibition.

The name of the book A Place Called Home originated from ideas Keira and Tiegan had during one of the workshops when they spoke of the importance of home to them.

The resulting book and exhibitions includes the new photographs and interviews by Jaskirt alongside archival imagery from the girls and 35mm photographs taken by the girls during and in between workshops, accompanied by text they wrote too.

Photo book

The photo book is being used as training material and workshops within the police. It told the story of each girl and their family through a series of photographs taken with Jaskirt, their own photographs and text and archival family images. 

West Bromwich Police Station Permanent Exhibition

The exhibition launched on 30 November 2023, and will be on permanent display in the police station, opposite the main conference room with the intention of bringing about conversation, contemplation and a moment to reflect for police officers on issues of gender based violence and trauma. 

Lens Culture Art Photography Award

Winner of the Jurors Pick 2024 by LOUISE FEDOTOV-CLEMENTS, Director of Photoworks (UK)

"A Portrait of Tiegan and Alfie from the series A Place I Call Home. Enigmatic and haunting, this artistic and socially-engaged photography series is focused on the lives of four young women, their families, the impacts of generational gender-based trauma and their progressive relationship with the police. Socially-engaged practice intends to affect change in this case using the power of photography to generate empathy and understanding amongst officers to influence real developments within police work and help foster better compassion about the complex issues faced by the girls. This portrait stood out in particular for its sensitive portrayal of the girl and the child; a strong composition full of painterly light in a beautifully caught and selected moment, it is clear that from the trusting gaze, vulnerability and strength, that a genuine emotional bond has been built with the photographer through spending time together in their participatory sessions co-creating images and text, listening to and valuing contributions. This humbling image prompts more questions than answers but left me with a feeling of admiration, love and hope."

Portrait of Britain Award

Tiegan and Alfie's portrait was one the winning portraits for the British Journal of Photography portrait of Britain award 2024 (Volume.6). It featured in a month long exhibition across UK wide JCD digital screens from 6 Jan - 4 Feb 2024

Blackheath Library exhibition

A community based exhibition local to the girls who took part in the project which ran from 30 October - 16 November 2023. The exhibition has since been moved to the staff room of the girls school alongside the book to further help teachers understand the complex issues the girls face.

Workshops

During a series of workshops led by Dhaliwal-Boora, the young women have taken part on photo walks shooting on 35mm cameras, text and image writing workshop with their family members, and looking through personal archives. This culminated in personal handmade zines on a story of their choice. This work also contributed to the final photo book and exhibitions that will combine each of the girls stories.