‘Roots of Diaspora’ project
Roots of Diaspora is an interactive project on refugeehood and migration which aims to collect personal and family stories of flight and immigration of Tamils from Sri Lanka dating back as far as 1948. The project aims to trace the routes, modes of transportations, encounters and experiences of an estimated one million Tamil refugees and immigrants who left the island of Sri Lanka to reach sanctuaries abroad. The aim of the study is to map journeys of (pre)war migration to provide visual understanding and context for the impact of racialized forms of violence and discriminatory policies on affected communities.
With this project we aim to find answers to questions such as what happened following the final departure? Where did Tamils move to? Which points of transit did they move through? How did they cross borders and natural boundaries? What did they experience throughout their journeys? What was the context of borders and geographies then? Which policies aided/obstructed their decisions on their final pathways?
The study intents to historicise our departures, arrivals and importantly the period between both departure and arrival. As a community we have so far spent few efforts and resources on documenting the many stories of hardship, violence and displacement we have faced. With this project, we hope to counter the profound silence surrounding questions of migration amongst the Tamil community. To counter the erasure and silencing of our stories and voices, we aim to begin a meaningful conversation about our diasporic presence, identities and memories.
Please do lend us your support and keep your ears and eyes open for more news to follow.
‘Roots of Diaspora’ is on Facebook and Twitter (@rootsofdiaspora)