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Political Violence & Oral Histories: Presenting the Archive of Sri Lankan Tamil Feminist Dissent

Launch event co-hosted by PublicsLab and SAADA for Kartik Amarnath's oral history collection “Tamil Feminist Liberation: An Archive of What Could Be.” This oral history collection is one of the first attempts to document the legacies of feminist dissent in the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Sri Lanka was home to one of the longest civil wars in modern history, reaching a bloody climax in May 2009, where tens of thousands of ethnic Tamil civilians were massacred by government forces. Enforced disappearances, acts of genocide, torture, and internecine assassinations continue to reverberate in today’s ‘post-war’ era as Sri Lanka faces the worst economic crisis in its postcolonial history. The purpose of this oral history collection is to document the transformative and liberatory potential of a Tamil feminist politics when practiced across political and social difference while faced with the adversities of armed and structural violence.

The event included a panel of project advisors and interviewees. Panelists include: Sharika Thiranagama, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University; Mahendran Thiruvarangan, CUNY alumnus and Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Jaffna University in Sri Lanka; Meenadchi, family constellation practitioner and instructor in decolonial non-violent communication; YaliniDream, interdisciplinary performance artist; and Aanjali Allegakoen, MA/PhD candidate in American Studies at William & Mary University. This virtual event was followed by an in-person workshop taking place in early November 2022, “Tamil Feminist Praxis: Embodying Complexity.”

Date: September 30, 2022
Subject(s): YaliniDream, Aanjali Allegakoen, Mahendran Thiruvarangan, Sharika Thiranagama
Contributor: Sharika Thiranagama, Mahendran Thiruvarangan, Meenadchi, YaliniDream, Aanjali Allegakoen

Collection: Kartik Amarnath Fellowship project
Item History: 2023-01-17 (created); 2024-05-26 (modified)

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