Thursday, July 25, 2013

Literature abounds in the North

 Text and pix by Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

 41st Literary Meet paved its way amidst endless criticisms

The 41st Literary Meet of Tamil writers and poets took place recently in Jaffna.It was the first event of its kind to take place in Jaffna after the end of the war. Two days were dedicated solely to discuss and debate literary themes under the titles: 'traditional arts and culture,' 'casteism,' 'literature,' 'activism' and 'national ethnicities and issues. The first literary meet of this kind was held in Germany, in 1988.

Literature enthusiasts, writers, journalists, poets and novelists hailing from Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese communities across the island and from overseas gathered in Jaffna. Participants from India, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom and the United States of America added a unique flavour to the two-day event.

House full of Literary Meet

Vithya, representing the transgender community in India, voiced built-up sentiments at the meet, etching a poignant mark on listeners' experience of the event. "I am a refugee in my own country. Our rights are violated at home, school, work place and elsewhere," Vithya said.

Vithya sharing her experience

"Sinhalese are ready to share their affection with the Tamils, but they are not ready to share the State (power). Some young Sinhala poets have begun to rethink after the end of the war. Some Sinhala writers have felt the sense of guilt with regards to the minorities," observed Peradeniya University Senior Lecturer, Dr. Liyanage Amarakeerthi.

Panel on Literature

Somesasunthari Krishnakumar talks about Women and Spiritual Culture

Panel on Traditional Arts and Culture

Panel on Castetism

Some of the participants

Panel on Activism

Raghavan introducing "Guernica"

Intense meeting led to serious discussions and debates

"Why am I writing? shares Ashrafa Noordeen

Cross section of audience

Professor Sitraleka Maunaguru talks about poetry by women in 25 years

Serious and sensitive subjects were discussed and debated during two-day meet 

Panel on National Ethnicities and Issues

Literature brought like minded people to Jaffna

Post war Literary Meet in Jaffna

COURTESY: Ceylon Today


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