Shanaathanan’s also recycling his old presentation. Good thing, because the cold of the 72-13 air-conditioning is messing with my throat and giving me feverish chills. Definitely seeing the doctor tomorrow.

A few key differences. He began the talk with a  Tamil poem, Good Friday by Pa.Ahilan.
Shanaanthanan: Good Friday
The day they crucified you
A hot wind

Blew between shore and sea
One or two sea crows
Flew in the immaculate sky.
The wind grating the palmyrah trees.
He also shared an anecdote from his youth: how in 1995, as a university student in New Delhi, he had to stand by and watch in horror as his entire hometown was displaced.
Shanaanthanan: For more than two months I didn’t know what had happened to my family. I didn’t know my identity, whether my surname means anything.
Then testimonies from the Incomplete Thombu:
“I was a small child when I was displaced in 1990. My family carried household things. Because I was small, they asked me to carry our pet puppy, who was too small to walk himself. A few days after we reached Jaffna, the puppy died.”

“It is hard to nurture a jasmine flower in snowy Toronto. Last year it eked out four flowers. It reminded me of my Jaffna house.”

“We still have the keys to the house, even though it and my father no longer exist.”

“My elder sister’s marriage took place in that house. Now it is a military building. Once we were hosted in our own house. We sat down for cool drinks.”

“There is no trace of my house now. I used to see my land from Canada using Google Maps.”
Interesting exegesis from a friend of mine: while Anomaa resists aesthetics in her work, Shanaanthanan imposes it on the testimonies: his pencil drawings disrupting the minimalism of the architectural diagrams and the firsthand accounts.

But enough of art. It’s past 10pm: chowtime.
 


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