media release

Komagata Maru presentation at SFU Surrey

October 21, 2011

Brian Owen, SFU Library, 778.782.7095;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017;

A presentation based on the 1914 Komagata Maru incident and led by award-winning filmmaker Ali Kazimi is coming to Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus (theatre 2600) on Oct. 25 at 7:45 p.m.

Kazimi is author of Undesirables, White Canada and the Komagata Maru, a new book based on his earlier documentary, Continuous Journey (2004) which traces the story of the infamous ship that carried 376 British India immigrants to Vancouver’s Harbour only to be turned away.

Passengers on board the Komagata Maru were challenging the Continuous Passage Act that was invoked in 1908 in an effort to curb Indian immigration to Canada. After a two-month stalemate the ship was escorted out of the harbour by the Canadian military and sailed back to India, where 19 passengers were shot and killed and many others imprisoned.

The incident has been used in schools to illustrate historical difficulties in race relations in Canada.

Kazimi, a professor in the department of film at York University, will launch his new book at the event.

RSVPs are strongly recommended. Selected guests attending the event will receive a complimentary autographed copy of a special limited edition copy of Kazimi’s new book.

For a chance to receive one and to RSVP, email with name and contact information and include “Surrey Launch” in the subject line.

In July, SFU’s library began a project to develop a digital interactive website that re-tells the Komagata Maru story and brings together related documents from Ottawa, Victoria and Vancouver. It is also creating an interactive version of the book Voyage of the Komagata Maru by retired SFU history professor Hugh Johnston. For more details see:


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