In 2005, the Nanavati Commission, mandated to inquire into the anti-Sikh pogrom following Indira Gandhi’s assassination, tabled its report in Parliament. Widespread protests by Sikh communities ensued. Gill covered the protest and survivors for a leading news magazine. In 2009, 2014 and 2019 she returned to the people and places that had been so devastated by the pogrom, to photograph and reconnect with the victims and their families.
1984 is a compilation of these images and beautifully reflects the mindful and long-term approach Gill has to communities she engages with. It can be considered as one of the only photographic testaments to deal with the impact of the riots. Under each of her black and white portraits she includes the original published captions that appeared alongside the photographs in the news publications where they first appeared. In 2013 she invited a range of text responses to her images from leading writers, poets, filmmakers, artists, activists, academics and scholars, in order to 'start a conversation'. She has continued to add to and update the notebooks.
Gill first made 1984 available in 2013 on www.kafila.online, a collaborative blog engaged in radical political and media critique. And in order to ensure the widest possible dissemination purposefully designed the book to fit an A 4 sheet, so it can be printed out, folded over and stapled to form a diy book. The online version has remained free to download and distribute in this way.