PAŔDA - A photo exhibit to bring awareness to the repression of experienced trauma in the South Asian culture.

On exhibit until Monday, May 22.

PAŔDA means “veil” or “curtain” and is used to “cover, wrap or hide” in a lot of cultures dating back into the 7th century. The use of the word PAŔDA in the exhibit is a metaphor meant to shed light on the concealing of trauma experienced by South Asian women within their lifetime.  Trauma in its various forms from neglect, abandonment, grief and separation to physical and physiological violence and abuse, war, and even illness, is experienced by many. More often than not, trauma is seldom acknowledged or spoken of in the South Asian community. Instead, the emphasis is placed on the shame and guilt trauma brings to the reputation of an individual and their families. This covering up and keeping these experiences concealed due to cultural stigma in the South Asian community, is that PAŔDA. It is the soft, and sometimes forced silences that these brave individuals and their families endure in silence.

PAŔDA the exhibit is a visual emotional portrayal of the women who are in the different parts of their trauma journeys.  This is their story captured by the lens of Artist Prachi Rathaur.

Panel Discussion: Storytelling Through Art 

Thursday, May 18 from 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum
10 Huron Road, Kitchener, Ontario N2P 2R7

Register here for this FREE event!

A trauma informed panel discussion on the meaning of PAŔDA the exhibit explained by the Artist Prachi Rathaur. She will share the conception process, its message and its purpose beyond this one event.

Moderated by Iman Grewal (Curator of PAŔDA exhibit), we will be joined by two  brave individuals Nav Dhillon and Dr. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, who are also part of the PAŔDA exhibit. Each will share where they are today in their healing experience as a way of cultivating hope, resilience and connection that can help challenge assumptions, generalizations, and stereotypes about individuals that experience trauma.

Join us in a evening of discussion where we humanize issues related to trauma, create bridges with one another, build community based on shared humanity and develop empathy and understanding that can expand perspectives.

Moderated by Iman Grewal with Prachi Rathaur, Nav Dhillon and Dr. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui. 

Notice of Video & Photography:  This event will be videoed and photographed and may be used for promotional purposes by the Region of Waterloo, including posting to social media. Your image is considered your personal information therefore the Region of Waterloo must provide notice of collection, use and disclosure of personal information under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). Questions about this collection should be directed to:

Meet the Storytelling Through Art Panel


Event Poster
Iman Grewal

Iman Grewal (she/her)

Is a passionate multi-hyphenate. She is an Artist, Curator, Entrepreneur, Wellness Expert and an award winning Mental Health Advocate. When she's not pursuing art projects, Iman works full-time as an Educator within the leading mental health organization, the Canadian Mental Health Association. In 2022, Iman was presented with the 'We Are More Award'. This award recognizes and celebrates individuals for demonstrating exceptional commitment to contributions made in the greater community for the enhancement and awareness of Mental Health initiatives.

A highly sought after Curator with a talent for visual storytelling as her artistic medium, Iman's tenacious drive has led her to carve out a decade-long career in the arts sector both locally and globally. While pursuing an independent art career, Iman quickly caught the eye of the largest contemporary arts festival, Nuit Blanche Toronto which led to a five year Project Manager position before moving on to curating events and art installations for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). With a passion to raise unheard voices in her community, Iman was hand picked and offered the first ever South Asian Film Programmer role at Toronto International Film Festival by now TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey. In this role, Iman programmed films and informative community talks on issues and causes closest to her heart. With a focus on her own South Asian community, Iman has led groundbreaking programming on topics such as LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, mental health and domestic violence. 

At its core, Iman has pushed for art to be experienced as a story that can create authentic, human shared connections where people can feel like they're part of something and feel what we all yearn to feel, seen and heard.

Parchi Rathaur

Prachi Rathaur (she/her)

Is an award winning experiential portrait photographer who specializes in capturing emotionally charged portraits of individuals who identify as women. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she continues to push boundaries in creating pieces that break cultural norms in her own South Asian culture and transport a viewer into a world of timeless stories.

Her signature style of mixing fine art with modern contemporary pieces have caught the eye of audiences varying from everyday art goers and beyond. By using creative colors and tones that have become her signature style, when asked, Prachi would describe her natural artistic pull to be towards capturing the 'divine feminine' energy through various mediums known as glamour, boudoir, maternity and motherhood portraits.

As a mother of three herself, Prachi believes that by capturing the true essence of her subjects, she brings an audience into her creative process and that is the connection she aims to cultivate as an artist who creates with a purpose in mind each time. 

Nav Dhillon

Nav Dhillon (she/her)

Is a product development professional with over a decade of experience in financial services, tech and digital marketing space. She holds a degree in Political Science from York University and earned her MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business in 2018. 

In 2021, she founded a non-profit organization called 1iCollective, which is dedicated to addressing and supporting the unique and unmet needs of people living with full and partial sight loss, particularly those who experience stigma related to their disability.

Nav's passion for this cause is rooted in her personal journey of losing an eye to injury and just as fateful, from the perspective of a Punjabi woman - a group that is culturally subjected to gender discrimination. Through her work with 1iCollective, she has become a powerful advocate for artificial eyes, both locally and internationally. 

In recognition of her contributions to the community, Nav received the Rising Star Award at the 2021 Pink Attitude Gala. As Nav participates in this panel in honour of the PAŔDA  exhibit, her story and wisdom will undoubtedly inspire and empower all those in attendance. 

Dr. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui

Dr. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui (she/her)

Is a globally recognised multiple award-winning public-speaker, well-known media pundit, renowned researcher, and a passionate social justice advocate. As well as being a professor of sociology, criminology, and criminal-psychology, she is currently directing one of Canada’s largest government-funded Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives at Colleges and Institutes Canada’s National EDI Knowledge Mobilization Centre hosted at Sheridan College. She is also leading a national study with Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, DC, that both quantifies and analyses in-depth the influence and impact of a right-wing extremist political group on U.S. institutions and American attitudes.

As a postcolonial scholar, her intersectional research concentrates on the impacts of colonialism and imperialism on the lives of diasporic peoples in the West. Focusing in the areas of migration, race/ethnicity and ethno-religion identity, Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui’s doctoral research explored the ways in which Muslim communities in the West navigate their social worlds in a post 9/11 climate. Her previous research includes a qualitative analysis of South Asian people's experiences of discrimination and healthcare seeking behaviours in traditionally colonial healthcare structures and settings in Ontario.

Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui’s ongoing contribution to knowledge building around anti-racism and decolonization studies includes many academic, legislative, and editorial publications. Her expertise is continuously highlighted in academic, public, legal, and political forums worldwide. She is regularly invited as an expert witness and policy advisor for government-led studies and policy initiatives and is a sought-after thought leader and cultural critic featured on major media outlets like BBC News, The New York Times, CBC News, CTV News and others.

Leading at the intersection of social justice and culture change and cultivating over a decade of experience marrying intellectual and cultural cornerstones, her contributions as an academic and social justice leader continue to make an impact on policies, attitudes, and lived outcomes relating to the equity of marginalized groups in the Western world. She also serves on many organisational and editorial boards and committees, including Institute of Religious and Socio-Political Studies and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.