‘Herstories’ in Jaffna
ICES partnered with Viluthu to take the exhibition ‘Herstories’ to Jaffna. ‘Herstories’, an archival project researched and curated by Radhika Hettiarachchi, is first of a series of Sri Lankans’ histories that focuses on mothers from the South and North. It highlights their strength in the face of adversity, and their hopes for their children’s and Sri Lanka’s future. The exhibition was held on the 28th and 29th of June 2013 at the YMCA auditorium, Jaffna, and attracted approximately seven hundred people over the two days, which included university students, school children, teachers, members of the clergy, and members of the armed forces.
Mothers are guardians of their family history. They are the pillars of strength upon which a family is built. As such, the project chose to archive mothers’ stories and through those stories to record the story of an entire family. These histories or ‘Herstories’ showcase a shared history and highlight how Sri Lankans are rooted in multiple identities, multiple histories, and different experiences. The project collected 270 oral histories recounting personal histories, experiences and hopes: some through hand-written letters; some through photo essays; some through short video; and some through collective timelines and memory mapping, and some through the visual story telling exercises such as the ’tree of life’. They have been translated and are available in English, Sinhala and Tamil on the ‘Herstories’ web site.