Posts Categorized: Arts & Culture

Tamil Cinema in the Twenty-First Century

Caste, Gender and Technology by Selvaraj Velayutham & Vijay Devdas (eds.) ISBN 9780367199012 Published December 29, 2020 by Routledge 228 Pages Tamil Cinema in the Twenty-First Century explores the current state of Tamil cinema, one of India’s largest film industries. Since its inception a century ago, Tamil cinema has undergone major transformations, and today it stands… Read more »

The Many Pongals of the Tamil People

by Anuradha Srinivasan, January 12, 2021 Jewel-coloured saris and spotless white “veshtis” mingle as people bustle about in the pale grey dawn, preparing for the sunrise. Young girls and boys dressed in their best pavadais [woman’s skirt] and shirts laugh and run around gleefully. Everyone is excited to prepare a feast and welcome their honoured… Read more »

The Voice of Music – S P Balasubramanyam

by Anuradha Srinivasan, Chennai, December 6, 2020  Ezhunthu Vaa Baalu, the harmonium player called out to his friend, who was catching up on the cricket score on his radio backstage. The jovial young man took the mic with a smile and sang breezily as his friends on the harmonium and guitar wove in and out… Read more »

‘Funny Boy’ and the Indian Tamil Gaze on Ilankai Tamils

by Sharanya Manivannan, Medium, November 15, 2020 I had first known that there was a film adaptation of Shyam Selvadurai’s iconic novel Funny Boy when I had heard about closed screenings of it in Colombo sometime in mid-2020. The story is a bildungsroman about a queer, upper-class Tamil teenager, culminating in the Black July riots of 1983 that… Read more »

U.K. Conservation Society Details Links to Colonialism and Slavery

The National Trust said a third of the properties it manages had direct links to colonialism or slavery. Some have a “hugely uncomfortable” history, it said. by Elian Peltier, The New York Times, September 22, 2020 LONDON — The country house of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, an ardent imperialist; an estate in northern England… Read more »

New Meanings for Ravana

The focus of the fourth paper, ‘Ravana’s Sri Lanka: Redefining the Sinhala Nation?’, by Dileepa Witharana, focuses on the recent widespread surge of interest in Ravana within the Sinhala community. This interest has reached unprecedented levels, to the point of redefining the Sinhala nation in popular public space by discarding the theory of Aryan descent… Read more »

The Ritualizing of the Martial and Benevolent Side of Ravana

in Two Annual Rituals at the Sri Devram Maha Viharaya in Pannipitiya, Sri Lanka by Deborah de Koning, MDPI Religions, Netherlands, 21 August 2018 https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/9/250 Reflections …That the Ravana myth should not be considered a version of the Ramayana becomes for instance clear in the wall paintings of the Ravana mandiraya: These wall paintings concentrate… Read more »

What Lessons Are We Talking About?

Reconciliation and Memory in Post-Civil War Sri Lankan Cinema by Dinidu Karunanayake and Thiyagaraja Waradas, ICES Research Papers, Colombo, September 2013 What_Lessons_Are_We_Talking_About_Reconc The official end of the war coincides with the beginning of a markedly changed Sri Lankan cinematic aesthetic. The post-2009 period has seen a boom in ‘patriotic‘ film productions. Shedding light on Jean-Luc… Read more »

FeTNA & World Tamil Conference 2019

[2020 FeTNA will take place in Atlanta, GA over Fourth of July.] World Tamil Conference schedule – https://www.icsts10.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/ICSTS_Seminar_Schedule_05312019_v002a.pdf FeTNA pictures – https://www.facebook.com/fetnaconvention/ Dance before Parade of Sangams – https://www.facebook.com/bayareatamilmanram/videos/613844709104196/            

Sri Lankan Poetry in English

Getting Beyond the Colonial Heritage by D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, 21 : 3 , July 1990 THE CONTINUING AND growing vitality during the last three decades of Sri Lankan literature in English seems to be disproving the prophecies of gloom and doom made periodically about it. In 1964,… Read more »

Tamil Artist who is Preserving Memories of ‘Surviving the War’

Meet the Tamil artist who is preserving memories of ‘surviving the war’ in Sri Lanka Sanathanan Thamotharampillai’s art focuses on the themes of memory, loss, home and self. by S. Senthalir, Scroll.in, December 15, 2018 Home and self are the overarching themes that define Sanathanan Thamotharampillai’s perspective, both as an artist and art historian. Thamotharampillai… Read more »

M.I.A.’s Critique of Wokeness

by Spencer Kornhaber, ‘The Atlantic,’ New York, October 5, 2018 CINEREACH M.I.A. wants to talk foreign policy. I called up the 43-year-old pop star Maya Arulpragasam last Friday to talk about Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., Stephen Loveridge’s fascinating documentary about her life. But she immediately brought up the latest news about her birth nation, Sri Lanka, which her family of ethnic… Read more »

Mamma M.I.A.: Influence of an Icon

Comedian Jack Rooke profiles his idol, Sri Lankan-British rapper M.I.A. by BBC Radio 4, October 9, 2018 https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/m0000np5 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000np5

Believing Women, and the Gaslighting of M.I.A.

by Mallika Rao, ‘Vulture,’ New York, October 2, 2018 The big revelation of the documentary titled MAYA / MATANGI / MIA, which hit U.S. theaters last weekend, is how it vindicates the singer at its heart. At The Guardian, Laura Snapes draws a connection between Christine Blasey Ford and Maya Arulpragasam — nom de guerre, M.I.A. — two… Read more »

Film Review of “Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.”

My personal take on this documentary film. by Lorenzo Fiorito, ‘Tamil Culture,’ September 21, 2018 The London autumn evening is winding down. After dinner, my sweetheart and I sit together on the sofa in front of the TV, and patch in the laptop video feed. I click on the link to an advance viewing of… Read more »

‘A Private War’

by Wendy Ide, ‘The Toronto Star,’ September 13, 2018 The life and death of Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin. Dir. Matthew Heineman. US. 2018. 110 mins Nimbly edited and directed with brio, this portrait of the legendary Sunday Times war correspondent Marie Colvin represents a sure-footed leap for director Matthew Heineman from documentary to… Read more »

Thoughts on the Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. documentary

by a 1rst generation Tamil American, September 6, 2018 Film trailer. I recently had the privilege to see the documentary of the British rapper, producer, and activist M.I.A. at an advance screening hosted by Cinereach, the studio that produced the film. I’ve long been a big fan of her music, often revisiting her albums Kala… Read more »

Dance and the Sri Lankan Tamils

To this day, there is no Bharatanatyam style that is distinct to Sri Lanka. by Teevin Kulanthai, September 3, 2018 https://entamilculturalconsciousness.wordpress.com Dance is the aesthetic representation of culture through movement. As one of the earliest forms of storytelling, the enduring art form embodies and immortalizes the history and traditions of its creators. Apart from Koothu, which is more… Read more »