Author:Gayathri Embuldeniya (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
For many Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants in Toronto, the concept of "home" has two resonances; that of their village, and that of Tamil Eelam, an imagined separate nation-state in Sri Lanka. Using two ethnographic examples, I will analyse how material culture is preserved and produced in the effort to remember and create home by Tamil migrants. The first case is that of Anselm, a Tamil man who fills his basement apartment in Toronto with paintings and models of his village. While expressing his sense of loss, these artefacts are also a way of emplacing himself in a new city, and symbolize his recreation of familial networks in a new landscape. The second case is a group of young Tamil musicians who remember home by recreating it through music infused with hip hop and whose lyrics showcase a militancy that would not have been permitted in their homeland.
Material culture, migration and the transnational imaginary