Posts Categorized: Arts & Culture

M.I.A.’S Provocative Pop

In recent years, her controversies have been more vital than her music. by Carrie Battan, ‘The New Yorker,’ September 12, 2016 Later this month, the inaugural London offshoot of Afropunk Fest—the forward-thinking musical event, held annually in Brooklyn, that explores race, identity, and visual art in black counterculture—will take place. Initially, the headliner was to… Read more »

Sangam Kalai Vila

  Ilankai Tamil Sangam (ITS), USA successfully hosted its bi-annual cultural show “Kalai Vila” on Sunday June 5th in West Windsor New Jersey.  This year the Kalai Vila 2016 was combined with a super singer show.   Over 100 students from different parts of New Jersey show cased their talent in Tamil language, music and arts… Read more »

About Sri Lankan Refugees, Looks Like a Prophecy

by A.O.Scott, ‘The New York Times,’ May 5, 2016  Jacques Audiard’s “Dheepan,” which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes a year ago, arrives in North American theaters having lost none of the timeliness that was widely noted last May. Screening in the South of France a few months after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, as the… Read more »

2nd Tamil Studies Symposium May 6-7

Full program http://ycar.apps01.yorku.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Tamil-Studies-Symposium-Program.pdf The 2nd Tamil Studies Symposium Bearing Witness: Unspeakable Crimes, Invisible Atrocities 6-7 May 2016 at York University The most challenging paradox of the 21st Century may well be the saturation of our media with news of atrocities, even as many conflicts around the world are described as ‘wars without witnesses’. While news reports… Read more »

New Tamil Writing

by Words without Borders, New York, April 2015 This month we present Tamil writing. The Tamil literary tradition of associating images with landscapes informs the fiction and poetry here, as writers locate their considerations of alienation, exile, and diaspora, and address how identities and customs change with both figurative and literal terrain. In tales from… Read more »

Poetry after Libricide and Genocide

by Cheran Rudramoorthy, ‘Indialogs,’ Barcelona, Spain, January 2016 http://revistes.uab.cat/indialogs/article/view/v3-rudhramoorthy/pdf_26 Cheran Poetry after Libricide & Genocide Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings – Heinrich Heine Healing the Forest To heal a still smoldering land, we went; no bird in sight. An empty sky above the sparrow-flying earth. An ash-covered landless… Read more »

From Tamil Tiger to Star of a Palme d’Or Winner

The lead in Jacques Audiard’s latest film left Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war and arrived in France to work a series of low-paid jobs. His extraordinary story is mirrored in the new work from the director of A Prophet

“The Other Side”

By Indrani Balaratnam, March 30, 2016 A glimpse of the streets we would have called home, I’m laughing in the park, climbing the coconut trees, Cycling through the dusty lanes, playing at the local spots. It’s a strange relationship: Caught in opposition of the surveillance state, And, gratitude, for finally seeing the corners we’ve never… Read more »

How the Chola Flag left a Mark in Lanka

The journey in search of trans-oceanic art traditions reveals how the Chola rule in Sri Lanka made an indelible mark on the island nation’s history and brought about changes in the socio-economic and cultural spheres.Two Chola temples, namely Siva Devalayas, in Polonnaruva are the important Chola monuments in the island nation, according to S Kannan,… Read more »

Pressing Your Case: Nonviolent Movements and the Media

  Introduction by Nada Alwadi Organizers and strategists of nonviolent movements often struggle in dealing with the mainstream news media. Some consider it their enemy, because coverage can be patchy or inaccurate. Others unrealistically expect the media to advocate for their causes. Yet few resources for activists have provided a reliable explanation of how an… Read more »

A Sri Lankan Lesson in Free Speech

London — I gave a talk last month at the Galle Literary Festival in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. This festival, whose home is in the southern city of Galle, has become over the past decade one of the brightest lights in Sri Lanka’s cultural firmament. This year, it established “outreach” festivals in Kandy, in Sri Lanka’s… Read more »

Fundraising for Tamil Chair at Harvard University

http://www.harvardtamilchair.com/ Harvard University has endorsed the idea of a Tamil Chair in their Department of South Asian Studies. The following note, was part of a letter received from Harvard University: “We are very pleased to convey to you our desire to support the establishment of the first Sangam Professorship in Tamil Studies at Harvard University…. Read more »

Handmade: Stories of Strength Shared thru Recipes

http://handmade.palmera.org/ Food is their life and a language they are at ease with. So what better way to tell their story than through food? So much more than just a cookbook, HANDMADE tells the stories of 34 women of Sri Lanka, in the time of war, before and after, through food. With beautifully transcribed stories… Read more »

Celebrating a Bountiful Harvest

Thai Pongal, the agrarian festival of the Tamils, will be in full flow around the country today. It is a festival celebrated not only in Sri Lanka and India, but all over the globe where Tamil populations are concentrated. It is essentially a festival of thanksgiving by farmers after their first harvest of paddy, but… Read more »

Review of “Alapparungkarunai”

Tonight I saw a beautiful Tamil Ballet of Tagores performed exquisitely by the Kokuvil Kalabhavanam free in aid of the Faculty of Medicine’s Student Hostel. It was organised by the Alumni of the Faculty of Medicine.  I went expecting to hear some song and dance. To my surprise the play was so well choreographed with… Read more »

Poetry in the Face of Oppression

by Gowri Koneswaran, ‘The Alignist,’ December 22, 2015 The first of Tamil poet and professor R. Cheran’s escapes was in July 1979, the day the Sri Lankan government enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and immediately began arresting members of the country’s second largest ethnic group — including him and his roommates. A university… Read more »

Interview with M.I.A.

by Tamil Guardian, London, December 21, 2015 Tamil Guardian exclusive interview with rapper and musician M.I.A. following the release of her latest track and video on the 27th November 2015. Sometimes friends of M.I.A. (aka Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) tell her, just make what you want to make. “But every time I make something, this is… Read more »

ICES: Impact of Displacement on Dowries

ICES Impact-of-Displacement-on-Dowries-in-Sri-Lanka-Feb-2015-1-FINAL-POSTED Four Case Studies The below four small case studies conducted for this desk research corroborate the literature and illustrate some of the issues women recurrently face due to conflict-induced displacement. Their stories provide evidence that marriage, dowries, loss of guardians and assets have major implications on leading a normal life.   Trincomalee Case… Read more »