ABOUT THE PROJECT The series American Bagpipers depicts portraits of an Indian-American bagpipe band based in a Hindu temple in New Jersey and is part of a larger body of work that challenges audiences to reassess basic assumptions about identity and to regard each individual as solely defined by a personally chosen array of affiliations. Through this work I want viewers to consider issues of individual identity that go beyond the "Clash of Civilizations" model which regards individuals asparts of inherited cultures that determine behavior and belief, and bycommon assumptions of multiculturalism which often are premised on similarly broad notions about cultural inheritance, albeit with generally noble intentions. One can argue that we are in fact complex composites of affiliations and associations that shift based on immediate context: artistic and intellectual pursuits, hobbies, career, family, gender, sexual identity, politics, etc. Belief and behavior need not be predetermined by ethnic, national, or religious heritage, and sweeping assumptions about what someone values because they have been identified as belonging to a particular group are limiting at best and dangerous at worst. Subjects of this ongoing series, the American Bagpipers, who belong to the Swamibapa Pipe Band have been upholding the tradition of playing Scottish bagpipes for over four decades since the guru of the temple started this tradition in London.